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Senate Proceeding 01-21-09 on Jan 21st, 2009 :: 4:02:15 to 4:13:30
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Bob Corker

4:02:15 to 4:13:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bob Corker

Bob Corker

4:02:19 to 4:02:39( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: i ask una consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. menendez mendez mendez: is there a time limitation? the presiding officer: there is not. mr. menendez: thank you, madam president. i rise today to support the

Bob Corker

4:02:40 to 4:03:01( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: lilly ledbetter fair pay act in order to defend the civil rights act of 1964 and to protect all amerans from the evils of discrimination. yesterday, millions of americans rejoiced as barack obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the united states. hope for a more inclusive

Bob Corker

4:03:02 to 4:03:24( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: america, a more unified america, a more just america swept across this land from our biggest cities to our smallest towns. there was a sense of that someone who wouldn't have been allowed to eat in certain restaurants certain water fountains just over 40 years ago had just become the freel elected leader

Bob Corker

4:03:25 to 4:03:45( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: of the greatest country on earth earth. we should be incredibly proud of the progress we've made since the eras of slavery and jim crowe. but while we believe our union can be perfected, we know it still isn't perfect. we know that equal opportunity and impartial justice for all

Bob Corker

4:03:46 to 4:04:06( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: have yet to be attained. and we know what the consequences whereas dr. king so eloquently put in his letter from a birmingham jail where he said -- quote -- "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice despite the progress we've made,

Bob Corker

4:04:07 to 4:04:27( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: we live in a country where women still earn 78 cents for every dollar a man makes; where african-americans earn only 80 cents for every dollar a white man 68 cents for every dollar a white man makes.

Bob Corker

4:04:28 to 4:04:49( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: our country, therefore, is still far from today the senate has a historic opportunity to narrow between our ideals and our practices. we have the opportunity to say that women should be treated the same as we have the opportunity to say that

Bob Corker

4:04:50 to 4:05:10( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: paid for their labor. and we have the opportunity to loudly proclaim in unified voice that discrimination will not be tolerated in america. as of last year, after a misguided supreme court decision overturned what had been the law

Bob Corker

4:05:11 to 4:05:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: of the land for decades, a worker can't bring an action for wage discrimination if the original decision to discriminate happened more than 180 days beforehand. the supreme court said employers can get away if they hide it long enough, even though the effects of that

Bob Corker

4:05:35 to 4:05:56( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: bigotr the lilly ledbetter fair pay act would recognize long-term continuous, systemic discrimination as it really is and not let loopholes and disinformation. if a woman sees her wages continuously fall behind those

Bob Corker

4:05:57 to 4:06:19( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: of her male counterparts or a worker gets paid a wage far lower than the company average just because he's black, they should be able to challenge their employers even if the discriminate was made years ago. narrowly defing discrimination as merely the original decision

Bob Corker

4:06:20 to 4:06:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: to discriminate makes no sense at all. let's say criminal hacks into your bank account and decides to steal a portion of your paycheck every two weeks. if we were to apply a precedent similar to the ledbetter case, if the hacker doesn't get caught 180 days after the initial

Bob Corker

4:06:41 to 4:07:01( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: decision keep stealing forever -- he can keep stealing forever with no fear of prosecution. current discrimination law makes about that much sense. now, some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle why workers often don't file their claim within 180 days within the first instance of

Bob Corker

4:07:02 to 4:07:23( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: discrimination. well, there are several reasons. to begin with, workers generally find it difficult to their salaries to coworkers and many businesses actual prohibit it. even if -- actually prohibit it. even if a worker sees her pay is lower than her coworker's, she might not recognize that it was a result of discrimination.

Bob Corker

4:07:24 to 4:07:45( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: and if workers do recognize it as discrimination, they often have -- they often wait to cont opportunity commission, or decide not to -- or decide not to due to feeling ashamed or, more often, they feel

Bob Corker

4:07:46 to 4:08:08( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: retaliation by ir-- they fear retaliation by their company. they fear the consequences of rocking the boat, and fear a job in which they're discriminated in is better than being fired and having no job at all. and certainly in these incredibly tough economic times, that is a rising reality. to make matters worse, skyrocketing unemployment rates have only put these vulnerable

Bob Corker

4:08:09 to 4:08:30( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: workers in a more precarious and often helpless position. now, some of my republican colleagues will legislation will open up the floodgates leading to thousands of lawsuits claiming wage discrimination. but this argument merit.

Bob Corker

4:08:31 to 4:08:53( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: for over 40 years, the courts have interpreted the civil rights act of 1964 to b consistent withhe lilly ledbetter fair pay act. eight out of nine appellate courts interpreted it that way, yet there was no flood of litigation then nor will there be after we enact this vital

Bob Corker

4:08:54 to 4:09:14( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: piece of legislation into law. now, some of my conservative colleagues will argue this legislation would make companies liable for decades of or would encourage workers to intentionally delay and file claims years later when those accused might no longer be

Bob Corker

4:09:15 to 4:09:35( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: around to defend themselves. again, these arguments simply ignore the facts. under this legislation, back pay would be capped at two years, regardless of how long victory was discriminated against and the burden to prove discrimination took place is borne by the worker. any lack of witnesses available

Bob Corker

4:09:36 to 4:09:59( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: worker's efforts to prove their case. now, critics who say this legislation will cripple businesses miss the point, the fact that companies that follow the competitive disadvantage compared to those who exploit their workers. as the executive director of the

Bob Corker

4:10:00 to 4:10:20( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: u.s. women's chamber of commerce said, a strong business advocacy group, they succinctly noted, "the lilly ledbetter fair pay act rewards those who play fair, including women business owners, unlike the supreme court's decision, which seems to give an unfair advantage to those who

Bob Corker

4:10:21 to 4:10:42( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: skirt the so, in fact, we have a strong business advocacy group saying treat those who are, in fact, obeying the law intended and as it, in fact, has been pursued for over four decades, in a way that doesn't

Bob Corker

4:10:43 to 4:11:03( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: put us as -- at a competive disadvantage. the vast majority of businesses that practice legal hiring procedures will not have to change anything and will no longer be punished for doing the right thing. wage scril nation is real, and the fair pay act would strike a clear blow against it. so we have to make sure to keep the legislation strong. unfortunately i'm afraid the

Bob Corker

4:11:04 to 4:11:26( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: amendment offered by our colleague from texas, senator hutchison, would severely undermine that amendment would require people to prove that they had no reason -- no reason -- to suspect their employer was discriminating against them in 180 days. the amendment is pretty confusing ju i have to ask: how does an

Bob Corker

4:11:27 to 4:11:47( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: emoyee prove she doesn't suspect and when should she have to? in general, i don't see how it's relevant whether a victim suspects discrimination or not. the issue is whether there is discrimination or not. if it's happening, it has to be

Bob Corker

4:11:48 to 4:12:08( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: stopped, plain you know, you can't ultimately be in a position in which loued -- you are allowed to discriminate and get away with it. if we send that message in our society, then all the progress we have back. madam president, i'd like to

Bob Corker

4:12:09 to 4:12:29( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: believe that every member of this body champions the prin and liberty as much as i do. principles are meaningless without practice. without vigilantly ensuring that no person is dis because of their gender, their race, their religion, their ethnicity or sexual orientation

Bob Corker

4:12:30 to 4:12:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: are principles that become just empty words. i'd like to that inaction on this issue is likened to tacit acceptance. and as dr. king said -- quote -- "we will rember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends." i urge my colleagues to rembe

Bob Corker

4:12:51 to 4:13:13( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: those wise words and put their votes where their values are, supporting this vital piece of civil rights legislation. i want to thank colleague from maryland for leading the charge here. she has been an exceptional fighter on this issue and i know that she will fruits of her labor, not for

Bob Corker

4:13:14 to 4:13:31( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: herself and her advocacy, but for millions of women, la see notices and african-americans who find -- latinos and african-americans who find themselves discriminated against in this country and preserve the rights of all who enjoy the

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