Update: Historic ERA Hearing, Voting Rights, and Combating Climate Change
We made history this week in the House of Representatives with the first Congressional hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment in more than three decades. It was an inspiring day and the first step towards passing legislation that will remove the arbitrary deadline that was imposed when the ERA was passed through Congress in 1972.
The House Oversight Committee also shed light on the work we need to do to ensure everyone who has the right to vote can do so, and I joined with my colleagues to pass, in a bipartisan way, H.R. 9: The Climate Action Now Act.
More on all this below.
Fighting to Put Women’s Equality in the Constitution
For the first time in more than three decades, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Last June, I teamed up with the ERA Coalition to host a ‘shadow hearing’ on the ERA after the GOP-controlled Judiciary Committee refused my requests to hold an official hearing. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come now that we have a Democratic-controlled House.
With women marching, protesting, running for office – and getting elected – in record numbers, the drumbeat for the ERA is louder than ever before. The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have shone a light on the discrimination that persists in this country. It is up to us to harness the energy of these movements to break through the final barrier to finally ratify the ERA. We cannot allow our rights to be subject to the political whims of legislators, judges, or occupants of the White House who do not see women as equal citizens.
I can promise that we will not quit until women are in the Constitution, where we belong.
Voting Rights and Voter Access
On Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on which I serve held a hearing on protecting the right to vote. During this hearing, we heard from witnesses from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the ACLU, and the Brennan Center for Justice. During my time to question our witnesses, I asked Dale Ho of the Voting Rights Project at the ACLU about what we can do to combat improper voter roll purges. One key takeaway is that we need to implement same-day voter registration everywhere. This way, if you are wrongly purged from the rolls, you can still vote.
Same day registration will of course also help people who relocate soon before election day or who have had difficulties registering to vote in the past. This is a no-brainer. We should be working to make voting easier, not harder.
Taking Action to Combat Climate Change
Yesterday, I was proud to join my colleagues in voting to pass H.R.9, the Climate Action Now Act. This bold legislation is a crucial first step in our efforts to confront the climate crisis. Climate change is one of the most dangerous threats we face today. We must act, and we must act now. This bill is a meaningful step forward to protect public health, and clean air and clean water for our children; advance our economy and global preeminence in green technology; defend our national security; and honor our moral responsibility to pass on a healthy and sustainable future for our children.
As always, your concerns still and always will remain my top priority. Please do not hesitate to email me through my website.
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Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress