Congresswoman Cheri Bustos

Representing the 17th District of Illinois
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Bustos Calls For Closing Wage Gap On 5th Anniversary Of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Jan 29, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, on the 5th anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) called on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to help close the persistent wage gap between men and women.  In Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, women make 70% of what men make on average and nationally, women make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns for the same work.  The Paycheck Fairness Act, which Bustos is an original co-sponsor of, would help ensure employers pay equal salaries for equal work done by men and women.  

Bustos’ remarks delivered on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives are below:

I rise today to mark the 5th anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a critical law that championed the principle of equal pay for equal work.

While this law made strides in closing the wage gap, across the country, women still only earn an average of 77 cents for every dollar a man earns for the exact same work.

This is a gap of more than $11,000 a year. That means, women, we are working for 84 days essentially for free while a man takes home his paycheck.

In my district in Illinois, women make 70% of what men make on average. Keep in mind that number is figured on the same work, just with much, much less income.

Equal pay is not simply a women’s issue, it is an issue for all middle class and working families.

When women bring home more, they are able to provide more for their families. 

Because equal pay for equal work would benefit hardworking families across my region, and across the country, it is time Congress passes the Paycheck Fairness Act.

This common sense bill would strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and provide effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work.

Thank you.