Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement in observance of Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into the new year that an average woman would have to work in order to earn the same wages the average man earned in 2015:

“Today marks one of the most troubling dates on our nation’s economic calendar. Equal Pay Day shows how far into the year a woman has to work to earn the same wages a man earned in the previous year – and this year, the gap is now 79 cents on the dollar. For women of color, the gap is even wider, with African-American women earning 60 cents, and Latinas 55 cents – to every white, non-Hispanic man’s dollar.

“This gap is a national embarrassment that is not merely a women’s issue – it is a working families’ issue. One study has shown that the national yearly pay gap of $10,762 would allow the average median family to purchase 83 more weeks of food, 4,635 more gallons of gas, or pay for more than 11 months of rent. Our nation has an all-time record percentage of households with children under 18 including mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income, meaning that a record percentage of families are being impacted by the wage gap.

“In spite of the overwhelming evidence to support closing the gap, my House Republican colleagues have voted nine times since 2013 to block the Paycheck Fairness Act from being considered on the floor, which I’m a proud cosponsor of. Instead of helping working women and their families, they’ve employed their trademark obstructionism and condoned women making less than their male counterparts for the same work. Shame on House Republicans for allowing this national embarrassment to continue under their leadership.”