Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Discussed on the House Floor

Transcript: 

... duty to set the record straight and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. andrews: madam speaker, i'm pleased at this time to yield to the majority leader of the house of representatives who will lead us to reverse this unfortunate court decision day, the gentleman from maryla, mr. hoyer, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman from new jersey. i thank chairman miller from california. i thank my friend, mr. mckeon, as well, for the consideration of this debate. we passed this bill before. properly so. unfortunately didn't pass the senate. wasn't signed by the president. that will not happen this time. we will pass this bill. my belief is the senate will pass this bill and the president of the united states will sign it. why? because it's the right thing to do. i listened to my friend and his conversation, but frankly it's somewhat balised that a case came to the supreme court and the supreme court had to rule on the case and the supreme court ruled on the statue of limitations. the value of work, madam speaker, lies in a job well done, not in the gender of the worker. i don't think there's a man or woman in this chamber who would agree. secretariesism, -- sexism, frankly, still robs women of their equal right to earn a livelihood, provide for their families and secure the dignity of their labor. and it does much of its worse work in the dark. frankly, women in this body all know that they make the same thing as the men in this body. why? because it's public information. but if it were secret information, notwithstanding the fact that we had a number of women vote against this last time it was up, i would be shocked if they would do so again if they were put in the position of making $25,000 less than those of us who are males doing exactly the same job. that is the position, of course, lilly ledbetter found herself in. so many of us know by now lilly ledbetter was precluded from recovery. for almost two decades, from 1979 to 1998, she was a hard-working tire plant supervisor. and for much of her career she suffered from two kinds of discrimination simultaneously. sexual harassment from a manager said to her face that women didn't belong in a factory. to the supervisor who tried to coerce her into a sexual encounter. and there was pay discrimination as well. no doubt about that. now, she couldn't recover for it because the supreme court said she hadn't acted. by the end of her career she was making nearly $7,000 less than the lowest paid man in the same position. both kinds of discrimination were founded on the belief that women in the workplace are second-class citizens. i hope there are no women in america who believe that, and i hope there are no men in america who believe that. i say that as the father of three women, the grandfather of two granddaughters, and the great grandfather of a 2-year-old young woman. but of the two, the unfair pay may have been the most damaging of the two between the sexual discrimination and the pay discrimination. the sexual discrimination obviously is abhorrent but the pay discrimination diminished lilly ledbetter's opportunities in our country. there's a lot said on this floor about it's their money and they know how to spend it better. now, we talk about that in terms of tax bills. it's their money and they know how to spend it better. if that's the case, then i would hope that this bill would pass unanimously to make sure that their money, which they earn fairly, is paid to them so they then can use it as they see fit. ms. ledbetter might have been in the dark to this day, may have kept it secret because people don't particularly in the private sector say i make x and you make y. in fact, a lot of employers tell their employees, don't tell people what you make. and lilly ledbetter didn't know how badly she was being discriminated against. a co-worker, however, gave her ...