The wage gap among men and women is still prevalent and American women make approximately 78 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn. The pay gap for female minorities is even greater. I voted for, and Congress passed, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, giving women the right to seek legal redress for wage discrimination. Additionally, I am a proud cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act to deter wage discrimination by ensuring that employers who try to justify paying a man more than a woman for the same job show that the disparity is job related and necessary. This legislation would also strengthen legal remedies to include punitive and compensatory damages.
Women have unique health care needs, and often make important health care decisions for their families. In March 2010, my colleagues and I in Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act, which benefits women’s health. Since its enactment, 26.9 million women with private health insurance have gained expanded preventive services, including mammograms, cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care, flu and pneumonia shots, and regular well-baby and well-child visits. Additionally, many health plans now cover additional preventive services, including well-woman visits, screening for gestational diabetes, domestic violence screening, breastfeeding supplies, and contraceptive services. An estimated 8.7 million of these women have gained coverage for maternity services. Additionally, as many as 65 million women with pre-existing conditions can no longer be discriminated against or charges higher premiums for their health coverage. Furthermore, insurance companies in the individual and small group markets will no longer be permitted to charge higher rates due to gender or health status. For more information on the Affordable Care Act and its benefits for women and families, please visit: www.healthcare.gov.
I believe women’s needs are especially critical on an international level. As a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, I have worked to address issues affecting women both at home and abroad, especially to health care. That is why I introduced H.R. 2241, the Global Health Innovation Act of 2015. This bill would help to address health care needs around the world and reduce the threat of pandemic diseases.
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This week in Washington, I cosponsored a resolution mandating anti-sexual harassment training in the House, attended a Transportation and Infrastructure markup on bills related to disaster recovery and combating human trafficking, met with a former Venezuelan mayor, and met with members of JP Morgan Chase. I also cosponsored a resolution to retain the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction.
While in Washington this week, I urged Speaker Ryan to reauthorize CHIP, cosponsored legislation to protect victims of domestic violence, and sent letters to the Administration asking them to restore policies that facilitate access to affordable contraception. I also voted on the fiscal year (FY) 2018 budget and an Iran sanctions bill in addition to holding a number of meetings.
While in Washington this week, I participated in a number of hearings and markups reviewing bipartisan legislation and met with various groups to discuss issues important to residents of the 8th District.
Over the last month there have been peaceful protest demonstrations around the nation and I have received numerous messages from constituents expressing concern and outrage over actions carried out in the first four weeks of the Trump Administration. I share these concerns and am strongly opposed to recent decisions that put our national security at risk and are fundamentally opposed to the core values we hold as Americans. Here is an update on the recent actions I have taken.
This week in Washington, I had an interview with students from my alma mater, received input from several constituent groups, and voted on transportation funding.
During my time in Washington this week, I questioned federal officials regarding the tragic Amtrak derailment, met with groups from New Jersey, and voted on several measures affecting the 8th District.
This week in New Jersey, I presented a replacement Purple Heart award to one of my constituents, and in Washington, reflected on the President’s State of the Union address, voted on several critical bills, and was renamed to several Subcommittees in the 114th Congress.