Nine years into the 21st Century -- and here we are -- FINALLY -- with a Congress and a president ready to put the final signature on legislation that will help ensure equal pay for equal work -- no matter what your gender, race, national origin or religion happens to be.
It's a new day in Washington. After years of Congressional Republicans holding up the equal pay provision, Democrats in the House and Senate swiftly passed the bill. Tomorrow, the first bill that our new president will sign into law will be equal pay for equal work. How proud President Obama must be.
More importantly, what a great moment this will be for the millions of women and minorities in our country who have worked just as hard as their counterparts, but paid substantially less because of their gender or color of skin. This critical moment should be celebrated in every community and in work places across our great country.
I've never understood why Republicans and some Democrats have opposed the equal pay provision. How could you? Don't pretend to be a leader and say that your represent the people when you stand in the way of simple fairness and equity. I know Senate Republicans are dominated and controlled by older white men who have stopped this provision from getting a vote over the years. What I don't understand is how female Republican Senators like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Elizabeth Dole couldn't show enough leadership to get this out of the Senate. Or why they would even stay in the Republican Party when their male counterparts continue to keep them down.
If anyone every asks you, "does it make a difference which political party controls Congress," I hope this is one clear and important example of what a difference it will make in the lives of millions of Americans who have suffered from discrimination in the workplace, that under Democratic control, equal pay for equal work will now be the law of the land.
I expect this is just the start of an important progressive agenda as change takes over Washington.