[NOW Actions] Urge Senate To Support Pay Equity
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NOW Action Alert
Support NOW's Work | January 13, 2009 | Tell a Friend

Action Needed

Background

All NOW Actions

Support fair pay for women!

Urge Senate To Support Pay Equity

Fair Pay Bills Could Come Up in the U.S. Senate THIS Week

Last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 11) and the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 12) by a vote of 247-171 and 256-163 respectively. A good start for the 111th Congress and women's rights supporters.

Contact your senators NOW!

After the House vote on Jan. 9, the two bills were then bundled together into one bill, H.R. 11, and sent to the Senate. There could be a vote on the bundled bill or on the two Senate bills as early as THIS week.

Senators Ted Kennedy and Barbara Mikulski have introduced the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (S. 181) and Senator Hillary Clinton has introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182), and we need an overwhelming number of sponsors and supporters for both bills. We hope that the Senate will vote for the House bill (H.R. 11) in its entirety. Failing that, we want a Senate vote on both of the bills at the same time without fear of a filibuster for either bill. That means we need 60 votes!

Take Action NOW -- please contact both of your senators and ask them to support both of these important pay equity bills.

Action Needed:

Send your senators an email and urge them to sponsor and vote for these bills and to oppose any weakening alternatives or harmful amendments. Or call the U.S. Capitol switchboard number, 202-224-3121, and ask to be connected to your senators' offices. Ask to speak to the staff person who handles women's or workplace issues and ask them to convey to the senator your support for BOTH bills.

Background:

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act both passed in the House in the last Congress, but Senate Republicans at the time filibustered their version of the Ledbetter bill which prevented a vote in the Senate. Time ran out in the 110th Congress, and the Paycheck Fairness Act was not discussed last year. Now that both bills have been passed by the U.S. House again, we must call on the Senate to demonstrate equal support for these women's policy initiatives.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised to hold a vote for "Ledbetter" as one of his first items on the agenda. We need to build a groundswell of support so he has the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster and proceed to a vote on the bills. The bills can then be passed with a simple majority vote.

Ask your senators to support these fair pay bills. President-elect Barack Obama has promised to sign this important legislation as soon as it is on his desk. Our goal is to have these bills before him within minutes after his inauguration.

Resources:

First Victory for Women and Working Families in the 111th Congress: House Passes Two Pay Fairness Bills NOW Press Statement
NOW's Letter To The Senate
"It's Time to Close the Wage Gap" Women's eNews

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