“Making sure women get equal pay for equal work remains one of my top priorities. President Obama and Democrats in Congress share this priority, and we will keep fighting to achieve it. Every week I speak with women and families in my district and from across the country who are struggling to make ends meet. I also encounter women who are striving to get ahead in their careers but know they are paid less than their male counterparts for no reason other than their gender.

Women make 78 cents for every dollar paid to men. For women of color it is even worse. African-American women are paid 64 cents, and Latinas just 54 cents, for every dollar paid to men. Closing this gap would cut poverty in half for families with a working woman, according to a recent study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research . If we keep up the status quo, in my home state of Illinois, it will take women until 2065 — 50 years from now — to close the pay gap . We must fix this.”