(Washington, DC) – Today, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) spoke on the floor of the United States Senate in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will come to the floor for a key procedural vote today. Blumenthal spoke in support of millions of Connecticut women who on average make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes.
The full transcript can be found below:
First let me join so many of my colleagues in thanking the Senator from Maryland for being such a steadfast and strong champion and a model for me as a newcomer of leadership in the U.S. Senate. And to all the women who have spoken today, the women of the Senate, who are on this issue, and so often on other issues, our conscience in this body. They are cutting through the unfounded, indeed counterfactual, arguments made against this measure which is simply a common sense fulfillment of the American precept that people who work equally hard and equally well should be paid equally.
The question before this body is, are women worth less than men? And the answer today, and every day, should be no. They are worth every bit as much as men, when they work as hard, and well, and they should be entitled to equal pay for equal work. And yet, in too many jobs in Connecticut and around the country, women continue to earn substantially less than men. In Connecticut, the number is 78 cents on the dollar, and that fact is unacceptable.
This issue goes beyond the women, who are affected individually: it is about their families, because on average, mothers in Connecticut contribute 40 percent of their family’s earning. Closing the pay gap for women would strengthen the finances of families around Connecticut and across the country.
This issue is about more than just women and families: it is about children. The burden of wage discrimination weighs heavily on 549,000 Connecticut children in households dependent on the money earned by their mom. The victims of this gender pay gap are the children of families whose mothers are discriminated against.
And this issue is about the economy. Those women who are denied equal pay have less to spend. This issue means 109 more weeks of food for the average Connecticut family, 7 more months of mortgage payments, 3,000 additional gallons of gasoline, bought by families that are victims of this discrimination. I urge my colleagues to be on the right side of history. As Martin Luther King said, “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice”. Let us do justice today, in this measure, and pass this Paycheck Fairness Act, on this day.