Legislative Action on Climate Change Needed
The numbers are stark: Based on an analysis from the Center for American Progress (CAP), 109 representatives and 30 senators in the 117th U.S. Congress—more than 25 percent of the entire Congress—refuse to acknowledge the scientific evidence that human-caused climate change is real. And these same 139 climate-denying members have received more than $61 million in lifetime contributions from the coal, oil, and gas industries.
Climate change is no longer a distant threat looming in the future. In 2020, 22 extreme weather events caused more than more than $20 billion in damage in the United States alone. That’s a new record. Last year, with the backdrop of a deadly pandemic, Americans had to flee their homes, seeking shelter in the face of out-of-control wildfires, an unprecedented number of hurricanes, and even sweltering heat waves—events that exacerbate already unacceptable racial and economic inequalities.
Yet, 25 percent of our elected officials in Congress still deny human-caused climate change. We can’t let this stand, and we urgently need your voice.
We know how to solve climate change, and the public does, too. With deep and immediate cuts to U.S. carbon dioxide emissions; investments that create jobs in the clean economies of the future; and meaningful work to right decades of environmental injustices, we can get to the clean future that humans need to survive. Climate change featured prominently in the 2020 presidential election, with younger voters ranking climate action as their top priority.
Today is Equal Pay Day!
As most of us know, BPW is one of many women’s organizations around the country that recognizes Equal Pay Day each year. Today represents the day in the current year that all women, on average, must work until to have finally earned the same amount that a man in a similar job would have earned in just the prior calendar year, and the gap is wider than the average for women of color. We recognize Equal Pay Day to continue to raise awareness of the wage gap, and the need to close it.
Today, the White House is unveiling a series of actions that are intended to help narrow the gender and racial wage gaps. The first action is a proposal by the Office of Personnel Management that will address the usage of prior salary histories when hiring and setting wages for federal employees.
Secondly, President Biden will sign an executive order that will limit how federal contractors can solicit and use information about workers’ salary histories when making employment decisions, and the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs will issue a directive that clarifies contractors’ obligations to analyze their compensation.
And the third action will be the issuance of a report by the DOL on the concentration of female employees in many low-wage sectors and the resulting impact on their economic well-being.
Also today, Vice-President Kamala Harris will host a White House virtual summit recognizing Equal Pay Day, which will be attended by members of the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, who recently settled a landmark equal pay lawsuit.