Rep. Maloney Joins Speaker Pelosi, Rep. Speier & Democratic Women’s Caucus to Celebrate Passage of Bill to Remove ERA Time Limit

Mar 17, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), lead House sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment and original co-sponsor of Congresswoman Jackie Speier’s H.J.Res. 17 to remove the arbitrary deadline imposed on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), joined with Congresswoman Speier, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the leadership of the Democratic Women’s Caucus to celebrate the passage of H.J.Res. 17 today.

Rep. Maloney posing for a group photo to celebrate the ERA

Members of the House Democratic Women’s Caucus Gather on the Capitol steps after voting to remove the arbitrary deadline on ERA. At center, Speaker Pelosi and Congresswoman Maloney hold a round “ERA Yes” sign.

Credit: Ike Hayman

During her remarks after House passage, the Congresswoman stated:

“Almost 100 years ago, suffragist Alice Paul, along with many like-minded and determined women and like-minded men, authored the Equal Rights Amendment.

 

“She is my family’s great aunt and was a life-long Republican and a Quaker. She was sent to jail, she was sent to an insane asylum because she believed in women’s equality and our right to vote.

 

“When Alice Paul heard that an arbitrary timeline on the ERA was added to the preamble in 1972, but not to the text of the ERA, she knew it was put there by opponents of women’s rights and that the struggle would not be an easy one.

 

“But, the suffragists knew specific language was needed in the Constitution in order to achieve equality of rights under the law. And they were right. For the last four generations, feminists like myself and all the like-minded men and women here today, have been marching, lobbying, attempting to win lawsuits and defeating anti-ERA legislators. And today, we say enough is enough.”

 

You can watch the full press event here, amd watch and read the Congresswoman’s full remarks below.

 

Hi,

 

I’m Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney from New York and there is only one thing I know for sure: equality has no time limit!

 

With today’s vote, we are one step closer to finally ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution!

 

Almost 100 years ago, suffragist Alice Paul, along with many like-minded and determined women and like-minded men, authored the Equal Rights Amendment.

 

She is my family’s great aunt and was a life-long Republican and a Quaker. She was sent to jail, she was sent to an insane asylum because she believed in women’s equality and our right to vote.

 

When Alice Paul heard that an arbitrary timeline on the ERA was added to the preamble in 1972, but not to the text of the ERA, she knew it was put there by opponents of women’s rights and that the struggle would not be an easy one.

 

But, the suffragists knew specific language was needed in the Constitution in order to achieve equality of rights under the law. And they were right.

 

For the last four generations, feminists like myself and all the like-minded men and women here today, have been marching, lobbying, attempting to win lawsuits and defeating anti-ERA legislators. And today, we say enough is enough.

 

March is Women’s History Month and we can finally celebrate the first woman Speaker, the first Black and South Asian Vice President [in] the White House, and a record number of women in Congress.

 

Today, we have the opportunity to make history to help make equality a reality for our mothers, our daughters, our granddaughters and ourselves. We must recognize that there is no time limit on equality as we send the Joint Resolution to the Senate so that the ERA can become the 28th Amendment to our Constitution.

 

By enshrining gender equality in the Constitution, we give ourselves the legal bedrock to finally achieve justice for women in the workplace, in the courts, and beyond. We have fought long and hard for equal pay for equal work – dating back to before the Equal Pay Act in 1963. With our equal rights built into the Constitution, we can finally enforce permanent pay equity.

 

Today, as we also pass the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, we are reminded that there is nothing more basic and essential to human dignity than protection from domestic violence and sexual assault. Unfortunately, our nation still lags in providing fundamental safeguards for women and girls against violence.

 

In 1994, Congress included the right to sue one’s attacker in VAWA. But, when a woman named Christy Brzonkala tried to exercise that right, the Supreme Court dismissed her case and deemed the provision unconstitutional. Women must be in the Constitution to enforce their rights to sue to protect themselves.

 

Unfortunately, we are seeing the effects of gender inequality during the pandemic. With both more reports of domestic violence [and] greater wage and unemployment disparities between men and women.

 

An estimated one million more women than men have lost their jobs since the COVID pandemic was declared a year ago. And the biggest impact of the virus has been on the vast majority of essential workers, most of whom are women and [a disproportionate] number of Black women and Latinas, nearly all whom have the majority of caregiving responsibilities. These trends, along with other tragic realities, make Constitutional rights for women more urgent than ever.

 

By ending sex discrimination and cementing equality of rights under the law in the Constitution – we can finally make good on a 100-year-old promise.

 

It’s time to spell out equality in the Constitution with three [letters] – E. R. A.

 

Equality has no limit.

 

I thank my colleague Jackie Speier, our leader – our Speaker, the [Democratic] Women’s Caucus, [Judiciary Chairman] Jerry Nadler, and everyone here today.

 

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