Today is Equal Pay Day – April 12. This is the day in the 2016 calendar year that women would have to work until to make the same amount that men earned in 2015. Despite President Obama’s historic Lilly Ledbetter Pay Act, the gender pay gap persists – in part because California House Republicans Jeff Denham, David Valadao, and Steve Knight have continually blocked consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help address wage discrimination.
While in the California State Legislature, Denham voted against a pay equity bill while Knight refused to ask and Valadao voted against asking Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. Once in Congress, all three Republicans blocked consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act at least twice.
According to a new report from the Joint Economic Committee, the pay gap in California is 15.8%, affecting not only California’s working women, but their families, too. As much as 40 percent of a family’s total earnings are contributed by working women, highlighting that the gender pay gap is impacting the American families who depend on their paychecks. Closing the gender pay gap would cut the poverty rate among single-mother-led households by as much as half.
And simply put, when women make more, women spend more – so Denham, Valadao, and Knight’s refusal to consider the Paycheck Fairness Act is hurting California’s economy.
“This Equal Pay Day, Denham, Valadao, and Knight owe an explanation to the women of California who still make 84 cents on the dollar,” said Barb Solish of the DCCC. “By voting to block consideration of the Paycheck Fairness Act, Denham, Knight, and Valadao are helping perpetuate the gender pay gap, which is hurting women, their families and California’s economy.”