January 30, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined House Democrats and advocates to reintroduce the Paycheck Fairness Act, marking the ten year anniversary of the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by President Barack Obama. Below are the Speaker’s remarks:
Speaker Pelosi. Thank you very much. Good morning everyone, and as Rosa said, it is a very good morning.
Thank you all for being here. This is a great day for us, to be in the presence of Lilly Ledbetter, a woman of great courage who made – is making a big difference in our country.
Ten years ago, ten years ago, when Democrats – well, we were in the Majority, but now we had a Democratic President – we sent the President, it’s one of the first pieces of legislation passed by the new Congress – the Lilly Ledbetter Act. It was the first bill signed by President Barack Obama, ten years ago [yesterday].
That is the priority he and we placed on workplace fairness. This was made possible by the leadership of Rosa DeLauro, then and now. Relentless.
I don’t know whether we call her the godmother of all good things for women, or the guardian angel who has guided us.
She introduced Paycheck Fairness then and as she is introducing it now, with 100 percent of the House Democratic Caucus in support of it.
Just in acknowledging what happened ten years ago, I want to acknowledge the work of George Miller who at the time was the Chair of the Education and Labor Committee. And we’re so honored that the Chair of the Education and Labor Committee Bobby Scott is with us today.
Rosa acknowledged our dignitaries who are here – our VIPs – because when Adriana speaks, then Lilly speaks. They are the heroes of this, but it is really important to know this fuller agenda of paid sick leave and access to quality affordable child care to make women in the workplace have the opportunities that we all should.
It will hopefully be signed. Mr. Leader, the Leader will take us to the Floor with this and we hope that the bill will be signed by the President of the United States by April 2nd, which is Equal Pay Day. That is the day that women start earning the money that they worked for – didn’t get paid for the first three months of the year.
But it is again an honor for me to yield now to a woman who you had to have seen the determination in her eyes, the courage of her fight, the difference that she has made. Her name is synonymous with equality for women in our country and she knows that when women succeed, America succeeds. Nobody’s made a bigger difference than our special guest, Lilly Ledbetter.