Biden Will Nominate First Women to Lead Treasury and Intelligence, and First Latino to Run Homeland Security

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. plans to name Janet L. Yellen as Treasury secretary, a nomination that would put a woman in charge of the Treasury for the first time in its 231-year history.

The expected appointment came as Mr. Biden moved to fill other top cabinet roles, selecting Alejandro Mayorkas as the first Latino to lead the Department of Homeland Security and Avril Haines as the first woman to be the director of national intelligence.

Mr. Biden is also expected to create a new post of international climate envoy and tap John Kerry, a former secretary of state who was a chief negotiator for the United States on the Paris climate change accord.

In choosing Ms. Yellen, who was also the first woman to lead the Federal Reserve, Mr. Biden is turning to a renowned labor economist at a moment of high unemployment, when millions of Americans remain out of work and the economy continues to struggle from the coronavirus.

Ms. Yellen, 74, is likely to bring a long-held preference for government help for households that are struggling economically. But she will be thrust into negotiating for more aid with what is expected to be a divided Congress, pushing her into a far more political role than the one she played at the independent central bank.

“While the pandemic is still seriously affecting the economy, we need to continue extraordinary fiscal support,” Ms. Yellen said in a Bloomberg Television interview in October. Her expected nomination was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal.

The emerging diplomatic, intelligence and economic teams, as outlined by transition officials, reunite a group of former senior officials from the Obama administration. Most worked closely together at the State Department and the White House and in several cases have close ties to Mr. Biden dating back years. Mr. Biden will officially announce some of them at an event in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday.

They share a belief in the core principles of the Democratic foreign policy establishment: international cooperation, strong U.S. alliances and leadership, but a wariness of foreign interventions after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The transition office confirmed reports on Sunday night that Mr. Biden will nominate Antony J. Blinken to be secretary of state and Jake Sullivan as national security adviser.

Mr. Biden will also nominate Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be ambassador to the United Nations and restore the job to cabinet-level status, giving Ms. Thomas-Greenfield, who is African-American, a seat on his National Security Council.

The racial and gender mix of the expected nominees also reflects Mr. Biden’s stated commitment to diversity, which has lagged notoriously in the worlds of foreign policy and national security.

The slate of picks also showed Mr. Biden’s determination to push forward with setting up his administration despite President Trump’s continuing refusal to concede. Mr. Biden received help on that front Monday evening, when the head of the General Services Administration formally designated him the apparent winner, unlocking federal funds and resources to begin

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Joe Biden picks first women and first Latino for key cabinet roles

Joe Biden, the US president-elect, has shown his determination to speed past Donald Trump’s flailing attempts to block the transition by naming leaders of his foreign policy and national security team.

a person wearing glasses: Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

Related: Antony Blinken: Biden’s secretary of state nominee is sharp break with Trump era

The president-elect put faith in experience on Monday by announcing Tony Blinken as secretary of state, Jake Sullivan as national security adviser and John Kerry as “climate tsar”, each signalling a return to the multilateralism of the Obama era.

Biden also picked Alejandro Mayorkas, who, if confirmed, would become the first Latino and migrant to be homeland security secretary; Avril Haines for director of national intelligence, who would be the first woman in that role; and Linda Thomas-Greenfield for ambassador to the United Nations.

“These individuals are equally as experienced and crisis-tested as they are innovative and imaginative,” Biden said. “Their accomplishments in diplomacy are unmatched, but they also reflect the idea that we cannot meet the profound challenges of this new moment with old thinking and unchanged habits – or without diversity of background and perspective.”

a man wearing glasses: Avril Haines has been nominated to be the DNI. Biden said of his picks: ‘These individuals are as experienced and crisis-tested as they are innovative and imaginative.’

© Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock
Avril Haines has been nominated to be the DNI. Biden said of his picks: ‘These individuals are as experienced and crisis-tested as they are innovative and imaginative.’

Biden was also set to make Janet Yellen – the first woman to chair the US Federal Reserve – the country’s first female treasury secretary. The 74-year-old economist is expected to be named as Biden’s choice on Tuesday.

In making his choices Biden looked to send an unequivocal message to a global audience that election wrangling is over and he will take office on 20 January. Trump has refused to concede defeat, spreading false claims of election fraud and suffering legal humiliations in what critics describe as a haplessly executed coup attempt.

The move also reflected Biden’s commitment to greater diversity and to choosing professionals from the foreign policy establishment in preference to business executives and politicians, a hallmark of the Trump administration.

Blinken was Biden’s national security adviser when Biden was vice-president, then deputy secretary of state for two years under Barack Obama. Sullivan was an adviser to Hillary Clinton, took part in talks with Iran before the 2015 nuclear deal, and succeeded Blinken as Biden’s national security adviser.

Kerry, named special presidential envoy for climate, is a former senator and Democratic presidential nominee who was Obama’s second secretary of state and a key architect of the Paris climate accord, which the US quit under Trump.

He tweeted: “America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is. I’m proud to partner with the president-elect, our allies, and the young leaders of the climate movement to take on this crisis as the president’s climate envoy.”

Video: Socialist Democrats pick up House seats, tout successes despite pushback within party (FOX News)

Socialist Democrats pick up House seats, tout successes despite pushback

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How a coalition of women won it for Joe Biden

College-educated white women shifted decisively to the Democrats in the 2020 election, joining forces with African-American women and Latinas to deliver Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris the White House, according to an analysis of election data.

Preliminary estimates suggest the Biden-Harris margin among white women with college degrees widened to an average of 22 points. This represents a big change from 2012, when they were fairly evenly split between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, according to a voter database from Catalist, a progressive data organisation. They shifted Democratic to Hillary Clinton in 2016, but only by single-digit margins, and only during the 2018 midterms did the Democrats begin winning among this group by double-digits.

“It was black women, Latinas and college-educated white women that carried the day for Democrats,” said Anna Sampaio, a professor of political science and ethnic studies at Santa Clara University. Not only did women of colour and college-educated white women vote for the Democrats, they “did a tonne of work as organisers, fundraisers and making sure people turned out”, she said. 

The contest between Mr Biden and Mr Trump was in part, a battle between male and female voters — with more men supporting the president and more women backing his challenger.

The overall gender gap was somewhere between 8 and 12 points, according to various sources. A gender gap of 8 points would be about average, while a 12-point gap would be close to a historic high. Experts are wary of drawing conclusions from the preliminary data due to flaws in exit polls and the difficulties presented by the pandemic in accurately surveying the electorate this year.

Line charts showing a gender gap between how women and men vote in presidential elections. Women have tended to vote more Democratic since at least 1980. The exact gap is difficult to assess this year due to multiple surveys with a range of estimates

Yet some trends are clear.

“Trump support among women stayed consistent among non-college educated white women and evangelical women,” said Kelly Dittmar, director of research at the Center for American Women and Politics. White women without college degrees voted for Mr Trump with a margin of between 14 and 27 points, according to various election surveys the organisation has compiled.

Within the Black and Latino communities, men and women both overwhelmingly supported Mr Biden; the gap was a matter of degree. 

The reasons the gender gap persists across many demographics are complex, but the fact that it does is “a ringing endorsement that gender matters”, said Ms Sampaio. “It matters in people’s experiences in life, their political lens, how they interact with and perceive the party and their platforms and policies”. 

Line chart showing the majority of Black and Latina women vote Democratic in presidential elections, while the majority of white women have historically voted Republican

For example, researchers have suggested that sexism and racism could go a long way towards explaining vote patterns in 2016.

Political scientists Brian Schaffner, Matthew MacWilliams and Tatishe Nteta found that white voters they measured as holding more racist and sexist attitudes were more likely to say they voted for Mr Trump over Mrs Clinton in 2016, even accounting for factors such as partisanship, education and ideology, using data from the Co-operative Election Study (CES), a series of large-scale election surveys.

To test the extent to which racism and sexism came into play this year,

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Meet The Women Who Could Become America’s First Female Secretary Of Defense Under Biden

Four different people have served as Defense Secretary in less than four years under Trump, and the recent termination of Mark Esper during a critical transition period places the secretary of defense position and in effect, the United States, in a somewhat vulnerable place. With the presidential inauguration a mere 58 days away and president-elect Joe Biden’s indication that key Cabinet roles will be announced in the near future, looking to the top contenders is this season’s political roadmap to clarity in what is to come. 

Laying out plans for a strong defense strategy and continuing or reversing Trump policies as to the U.S. military will be an early and critical test of Biden’s promises and deliveries. Two of the frontrunners for defense secretary are women. If Biden appoints one of them, she would be the first woman in the office’s 74-year history to hold the position. 

Michele Flournoy

Michele Flournoy, considered a frontrunner candidate, served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy during the Obama administration from 2009 to 2012 where she managed nearly 1,000 people. Prior to that she worked on national security issues at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and as a second principal deputy in the defense department during Clinton’s second term, for which her responsibilities included covering Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.

A Harvard and Oxford graduate, Flournoy’s views on international affairs may be what Biden is looking for, but her recent experience as head of WestExec Advisors, where she deals with Fortune 100 companies may not put her in the best light with progressives.

One of the earlier agenda items in 2021 will be handling of the U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump’s administration will likely cut troops down from 4,500 to 2,500 by January 15. This so far sounds consistent with Biden’s plans since he has indicated he wants to keep a few thousand soldiers in Afghanistan to maintain a small but effective counterterrorism force. If the 2018 agreement between the U.S. and the Talibans stating that all forces will leave the country by Spring 2021 is enforced, then the number will shrink even more. Flournoy, however, has previously taken the opposite stance, supporting an increase in troops abroad. During the Obama administration, she supported adding up to 100,000 troops in Afghanistan, which Biden opposed. 

Flournoy shares Biden’s views as to the escalating threat that China poses, making her a likely pick. She wrote about how China’s rise as a competitor in technological areas will determine military advantage while underscoring her disapproval of how the U.S. is currently handling

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‘Our time is now.’ With Biden, women in national security see chance to fix imbalance

Joe Biden has pledged to change the landscape of the overwhelmingly white male-dominated world of national security. When Biden takes the oath of office on January 20, 2021, he will become the first president to have pledged to pursue gender parity in senior national security and foreign policy government positions.

“Our time is now. And, of course, overdue, but certainly now,” said Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the co-chair and founder of the Leadership Council for Women in National Security (LCWINS) and a former ambassador to Malta.

Abercrombie-Winstanley is among a group of women leaders who have worked at the State and Defense Departments and within the intelligence community who launched LCWINS in 2019, beginning with a pledge to pursue gender parity, nominate women to senior roles that have never before been filled by a woman, and ensure that women of color are well-represented in senior ranks. Biden has already begun living up to his pledge, in forming the agency review teams tasked with facilitating the transition: Both the State and Defense Department teams are majority female, and both are women-led.

While LCWINS is nonpartisan, many of the women on its masthead held leadership positions in President Barack Obama’s administration. They formed the organization in the wake of the #MeToo movement and the record-setting number of women who ran for and won seats in Congress in 2018. The group’s founders, seeking more equitable representation within their own field, organized in order to “provide the public leadership and specific benchmarks to improve gender diversity and fight unconscious bias” in national security, according to their mission statement.

The election of Donald Trump, Abercrombie-Winstanley said, helped galvanize them.

Eighteen Democratic presidential candidates, including Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, who later dropped out of the race and then became Biden’s running mate, signed the group’s gender parity pledge.

President Donald Trump did not sign the pledge.

A 2018 study by the New America Foundation found that women made up less than 40 percent of the Trump administration’s senior State Department leadership, and less than 30 percent at the Department of Defense. Women were slightly better represented in those departments during the same period of the Obama administration, but the numbers were still lopsided.

The gender imbalance in national security, which includes foreign policy, defense and intelligence, has long favored men. Those looking to Biden to prioritize gender parity are not inclined to give him a pass simply because things in the White House were marginally more equal the last time he was there.

President Trump had a total of seven women serving in 23 Senate-confirmed Cabinet or Cabinet level positions over the course of his administration, according to the Center for American Women and Politics. The first term of the Obama administration saw eight women in those same 23 positions.

Those who support gender parity as a critical administration goal want it not simply as a talking point for organizations. Rather, they believe that more diversity, not just in terms of gender identity but also race, sexual

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Netanyahu’s cruel, booby-trapped inauguration gift to Joe Biden

Givat Hamatos does not look like prime real estate. Low, thorny brush and trash cover the hill on the southern edge of Jerusalem. The shells of a pickup, a van and a car rust on a slope. A seesaw and a pair of swings stand next to a clump of mobile homes, the last remainders of a temporary housing camp put here 30 years ago during a wave of immigration to Israel.

a bird sitting on a wire fence: An Israeli women in Givat Hamatos in East Jerusalem on Nov. 17.

© Abir Sultan/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock
An Israeli women in Givat Hamatos in East Jerusalem on Nov. 17.

In real estate, location is everything. In politics, timing is critical. This week, location and timing came together at Givat Hamatos. The Israeli government agency that owns the land published a call for bids from developers to build more than 1,200 apartments on the hill. Bids are due by Jan. 18 — two days before Joe Biden will become president of the United States. The move is reckless exploitation of President Trump’s final days in power, and is a booby-trapped inauguration gift for Biden from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


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Givat Hamatos — which is Hebrew for “Airplane Hill” — is named for an Israeli warplane shot down there by Jordanian forces during the Six-Day War in June 1967. After the war, Israel annexed a piece of West Bank territory including East Jerusalem and nearby rural areas such as Givat Hamatos, adding all of them to the Israeli municipality of Jerusalem.

From the north side of the hill, you can see most of Jerusalem. To the south lies the Palestinian city of Bethlehem in the West Bank. To the east and west are two massive Jewish neighborhoods — otherwise known as settlements — that Israel has built on annexed land.

Building at Givat Hamatos will close the gap between the other two Israeli projects. The tall new buildings will complete a wall of Israeli housing that will divide Bethlehem and the southern West Bank from downtown East Jerusalem and the holy sites of the Old City. Givat Hamatos fits into the long-running pattern of Israeli construction in and around Jerusalem: It’s meant to cut off East Jerusalem and to break up the West Bank so that creating a contiguous Palestinian state is impossible.

There’s nothing hidden about this agenda. In a 2018 article published by the conservative Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, right-wing researcher Nadav Shragai wrote that building at Givat Hamatos would “prevent a second division” of Jerusalem and block the “Palestinians’ future goal of ‘East Jerusalem, capital of the Palestinian state.’ ”

Shragai correctly labeled Givat Hamatos a “strategic” neighborhood. Housing units there are weapons in a political battle. The strategic goal of Netanyahu and the Israeli right is to keep the West Bank and the Palestinians who live there under permanent Israeli rule. The right is blind to the cost in violated human rights and to the most likely long-term result: creation of a single state in which Jews are a minority.

Netanyahu has been able to ignore

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Biden is reportedly considering two Black women for press secretary

Remember Sean Spicer? 

Despite being the public face of the executive branch, the White House press secretary wasn’t always as well known as recent appointees. But with the advent of televised press briefings and a rotating door of press secretaries under the Trump administration, there is much speculation about who will follow Kayleigh McEnany, the current press secretary. 







While Biden is yet to announce his choice for the position, NBC News and other news outlets have reported that he is considering Karine Jean-Pierre and Symone Sanders. If selected, both would be the first Black woman in the position, while Jean-Pierre would also be the first openly LGBTQ+ person to represent the White House in this position.


“No final decisions have been made, officials stress, as the emerging West Wing leadership also considers how to structure the communications office in a rapidly-changing media environment,” NBC News reporter Geoff Bennett said on Twitter, adding that final decisions are not expected until next week. 

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Sanders served as national press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in 2016 before acting as a senior adviser to the Biden-Harris campaign in 2020. Jean-Pierre, who served as regional political director in President Obama’s administration, joined Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s campaign as the first Black person to serve as a presidential candidate’s chief of staff before following her onto the Biden ticket

Either woman would make history, following in the footsteps of Andrew Hatcher, who was the first Black associated press secretary under President John F. Kennedy, and Margaret “Dee Dee” Myers, who became the first woman in the position under President Bill Clinton.

“I think both Symone and Karine would be amazing press secretaries,” Aimee Allison, president of She The People, told Newsweek. “Unlike in 2016, there is broad acknowledgement that Black women had a broad and central role in delivering the White House and we’re the trusted voices.”

And as Jean-Pierre, who has a daughter with her partner Suzanne Malveaux, herself said on Twitter, “Representation matters.”



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Does Ashley Biden Have A Clothing Line?

With the election now in our collective rearview mirror and a Joe Biden presidency on the horizon, we can finally start looking to the future. In just a matter of weeks, a new First Family will occupy the White House, which means it’s time to start familiarizing yourself with the big Biden crew. And if you’re a lover of fashion, you’ll be especially interested in First Daughter Ashley Biden’s clothing line.

Yes, Ashley Biden is one of the surviving children of Joe and Jill Biden, along with a son Hunter. In 1972, the president-elect’s first wife, Neilia, and their newborn daughter Naomi were tragically killed in a car accident. Hunter and his brother Beau were in the accident as well, but they survived after weeks of being hospitalized. However, tragedy struck the family again in 2015, when Beau passed away from a rare form of brain cancer.

Undoubtedly, the Biden family has persevered through some horrifically dark times. But they are not defined by these tragedies or their grief, which is perhaps best illustrated by their professions. Joe, obviously, has been a public servant for nearly 50 years. Jill has been a teacher her entire life, and plans to continue teaching even once she officially steps into her role as First Lady. Ashley is following in their footsteps with a successful fashion label with a social justice slant.

So, when it comes to the soon-to-be First Daughter, what can we expect to see from Ashley Biden? You may be surprised to learn that she’s got connections to the fashion world. Read on for more.

Who is Ashley Biden?

The daughter of Joe Biden, Ashley proves that public service might just run in the family. She has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania, and she spent 15 years as a social worker for the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families.

She also served as executive director of the Delaware Center for Justice, an advocacy group that works to “facilitate fresh starts for victims of crime, youth at risk, and the incarcerated,” according to the organization’s website.

What does Ashley Biden do for a living?

Ashley transitioned into the fashion world in 2017 when she launched Livelihood, a clothing brand that aimed to raise money for community groups in Wilmington, Delaware — her hometown — and Southeast Washington, D.C., where she began her career as a social worker.

The initial collection included a line of hoodies in neutral shades made from organic cotton, which were manufactured in the United States.

“I chose a hoodie because it is universal,” Ashley previously told Washingtonian, explaining that hoodies were “once ubiquitous with the labor movement.”

Does Ashley Biden have a clothing line?

At press time, the website doesn’t appear to be functional, but there are currently no reports about it officially closing down.

She was still designing in June 2019, when she tried her hand at creating uniforms for a swanky D.C. bar at Hamilton

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Women and people of color make up majority of Biden transition team

  • Women and people of color make up the majority of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, according to CNN.
  • About half the transition staff is made up of women, and about 46% is made up of people of color. 
  • A diverse transition staff might signal that Biden, along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, is looking to prioritize diversity within his incoming administration. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team is primarily made up of women and people of color, CNN reported. 

About half, or 46% of his transition staff, are people of color, according to CNN, which reviewed diversity data from Biden’s transition team. Women make up about 52% of his transition team. 

“For months, the Biden-Harris transition has laid the groundwork for a Biden-Harris administration, and at the core of that work is an unrelenting commitment to diversity,” Ted Kaufman, co-chair of the Biden-Harris transition, said in a statement to CNN.

“As we continue working full-speed ahead to Inauguration, our diverse group of leaders and staff are reflective of America — upholding President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris’ belief that through diverse voices we can develop and implement a policy vision to tackle our nation’s toughest challenges,” Kaufman added.

A diverse transition staff might signal that Biden, along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, is looking to prioritize diversity within his incoming administration. 

This would stand in stark contrast to the Trump administration, which in 2016 was 71% white men, according to an analysis done by NPR. Trump had the highest percentage of white men employed in his cabinet since the Reagan administration, the analysis shows. Women and people of color made up about 19% each. 

Biden continues to prepare to take office, even as President Donald Trump refuses to concede or acknowledge the election results. 

The former vice president has not yet announced all of his cabinet picks. But he chose longtime advisor Ron Klain to oversee all White House staff. Klain was Biden’s chief of staff when former President Barack Obama was in office.

Janet Yellen is reportedly under consideration for the position of Treasury secretary. If confirmed, Yellen would be the first woman to occupy the role. Biden might also appoint Michelle Flournoy to head the Pentagon, which would mark the first time a woman has held that position.

Biden announced a 13-member coronavirus advisory committee last week, nine of whom are people of color and women.

Biden’s election victory already marked historic appointments when Harris became the first Black, Asian-American woman to be elected to vice president. 

On the campaign trail, Biden had promised a diverse administration if he won the presidential election.

“My administration’s going to look like America, not just my staff,” Biden said in June. “The administration from the vice president straight down through cabinet members to major players within the White House, and the court. It’s going to be a reflection of who we are as a nation.”

Biden’s campaign staff also boasted higher diversity rates, revealing in

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Biden win called a ‘restoration of sanity’ for women’s rights

NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – With the election of Kamala Harris as U.S. vice president shattering a glass ceiling for women in political office, supporters are setting their sights on a fresh push for women’s rights and equality under the presidency of Joe Biden.

The new Democratic administration offers the possibility of reversing moves by the Donald Trump administration that stymied women’s rights and building upon progress made during the Barack Obama years, campaigners said.

President-elect Biden vowed during the campaign to address several of Trump’s policies toward women’s rights, including a weakening of victim rights in campus sexual assault cases, a slowed effort to close the gender pay gap and reduced access to contraception.

“The past four years have been devastating for women, and they’ve been devastating for families,” Sarah Fink, vice president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, a public policy advocacy group, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“To look forward to the next four years, and talk about what we’re looking for from a Biden-Harris administration, some of it of it is simply a restoration of sanity, of rational, evidence-based thinking,” Fink said.

Biden has promised a “quick end” to rules issued in May by the Department of Education that narrowed the definition of sexual assault on campus and expanded the rights of the accused.

The Trump policy “gives colleges a green light to ignore sexual violence and strip survivors of their rights,” Biden said in a statement in May.

Jeni Klugman, managing director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security, said the Trump-era rules would discourage survivors from speaking up.

“Where you make reporting more difficult and where there are additional obstacles and a lower likelihood of success, women will, quite reasonably, choose not to report it all,” she said.

More than a quarter of undergraduate women say they have been raped or sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, an anti-violence group.


Biden also pledged support for the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill to strengthen and close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which was designed close the pay gap and guarantee that women could challenge pay discrimination.

The legislation was most recently reintroduced but faltered in the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate in 2017.

In 2020, U.S. women earned 81 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to PayScale, a U.S.-based maker of compensation software. The gap grows for women of color, who earn 75 cents for every dollar made by a white man.

The Trump administration tried to stop the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission from collecting company data on gender and race, a practice started in the Obama administration.

“From a government perspective, it’s difficult to do the kind of impactful, strategic outreach education and enforcement without knowing where the problems exist,” Fink said.

A federal judge last year ordered that the data collection continue, ruling the administration failed to prove

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