Maloney Unveils Plan to Expand Women’s Economic Opportunities

Feb 11, 2014
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – On a telephone town hall with thousands of participants, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) announced his plan to “Expand Women’s Economic Opportunities.” His agenda focuses on policies that address the real economic needs of women and families, including equal pay for equal work, paid leave, supporting women entrepreneurs and small businesses owners, and expanding access to affordable child care.

“Women in the Hudson Valley are more likely to be the breadwinners, caretakers, innovators, and leaders at home, at work, and in our communities,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney. “We all benefit when women are treated equally - it makes our families, communities and economy stronger.  From Seneca Falls to today our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers have made great strides fighting for women’s equality, but we have a lot of work left to do if my daughters are to have full economic security and equal opportunities. It’s time for this Congress to stop putting up barriers to women’s economic opportunity and invest in the women and girls who will lead us into the next century.”

In last week’s telephone town hall poll, 79% of respondents said they supported raising the minimum wage to $10.10. Another poll also found that 28% of participants did not qualify to use the current Family Medical Leave Act.  57% of participants hope to one day use the Family Medical Leave Act or wanted to find out more details about the law.

Rep. Maloney’s Seven Solutions:

  •  Strengthen Equal Pay Act: Fifty years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, Hudson Valley women working full time only earn 78% of men’s median earnings. This amounts to a yearly gap of $14,072.  The Paycheck Fairness Act strengthens and closes loopholes in the Equal Pay Act by providing effective remedies to women being paid less for equal work and protecting employees from retaliation for sharing salary information with their co-workers.
  •  Increase the Minimum Wage to $10.10: More than 6 in 10 minimum wage workers in New York are women. One of those women working fulltime without holidays or time off would earn just $14,500 a year. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over the next three years - returning the wage to approximately its inflation adjusted value in the late 1960s.
  • Establish Paid Family and Medical Leave: Current Family and Medical Leave law provides unpaid, job-protected leave for serious health related events for only about half of the workforce.  The other half don’t qualify for this unpaid leave, and many more simply cannot afford to take it because it is unpaid. The Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act would establish a national paid family and medical leave insurance program, ensuring that American workers would no longer have to choose between a paycheck and caring for themselves or a family member.
  • Expanding the Child Care Tax Credit: Over 90 percent of families use some kind of child care. Our tax code must catch up to working parents with young children. Current law limits benefits to families with incomes greater than $43,000 to a 20 percent credit instead of the full 35 percent credit. Middle-class families should be able to claim the full tax credit for their child care expenses.
  • Increase Quality and Affordable Early Childhood Education: The Strong Start for America's Children Act is an innovative federal-state partnership to expand and improve early learning opportunities for children across the birth to kindergarten. 
  • Protect a Woman’s Freedom of Choice: A woman’s medical decisions are best made by a woman, her doctor and her family – not Washington politicians. Instead of defunding Planned Parenthood, we should ensure woman have access to affordable preventive healthcare services including breast and cervical cancer screenings.
  • Support Women Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses: With only 4 percent of women-owned enterprises receiving federal projects, we need to create greater opportunity for women’s participation.  Women owned firms account for 40 percent of privately owned firms and employ more than 13 million people. The Women’s Procurement Program Equalization Act will provide procurement officers with another tool to ensure our women are receiving their fair share of contracts.