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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

President Seeks $27M to Fight Pay Inequality

WASHINGTON -- President Bill Clinton is seeking $27 million to help close the earnings gap between U.S. men and women and beef up enforcement of equal-pay laws. "This is about the value of work," he said. "This is about the values of our country."

Clinton was joined at a White House event by soccer star Michelle Akers, who with her teammates has been boycotting training because of a compensation dispute that erupted after the U.S. Women's World Cup championship last season.

"Over the past years, women's sports and the view of women has changed a ton," she said. "However, ... the battle is not over. We are still being discriminated against. We still are not paid equally for the amount of work that we do."

Women earn an average of 75 cents for every $1 men are paid, a disparity Clinton has noted in the past as evidence of social injustice.

"We want to make sure that in every field of endeavor, everyone knows that those who work hard and play by the rules will have the chance to make the most of their abilities," Clinton said.

As part of the $27 million plan to close the wage gap, Clinton will seek $10 million for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to train up to 3,000 employers about equal pay laws and 1,000 staff inspectors.

A similar, $14 million initiative failed in Congress last year.