Endorsed Bills for the 117th Congress
Equal Rights Amendment
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would ban discrimination on the basis of sex. It would help women, transgender, and nonbinary individuals in cases of discrimination in education, employment, wages, insurance benefits, military service, social security, intimate partner violence, and more.
Removing the Timeline for ERA Ratification
SJR 1 / HJR 17
This bill would remove the arbitrary ratification time limit that Congress placed on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Many Constitutional scholars believe that because the time limit is in the preamble of the ERA, and therefore not part of the wording voted on by the states, it is subject to an extension by a vote in Congress. The ERA is the only proposed amendment to ever have a ratification deadline placed on it. The House of Representatives passed legislation to remove the deadline in March of 2021. The Senate has not yet brought the bill to the floor for a vote.
For the People Act of 2021
S 1 / HR 1
The For the People Act of 2021 is aimed at expanding voter access and strengthening the integrity of federal elections. It modernizes voter registration for federal elections by providing automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, and online voter registration in every state. It limits a state’s abilities to purge eligible voters from the rolls and ensures that disabled voters can register and vote absentee. The Act restores voting rights to formerly incarcerated individuals convicted of a felony who have completed their sentence. It expands access to early voting during federal elections and requires states to allow any eligible voter to vote by mail. It aims to end partisan gerrymandering by establishing a nonpartisan commission to draw political maps. It addresses campaign finance by requiring transparency from “dark money” groups and prohibits campaign spending by foreign nationals. It also requires the President and Vice President, and certain candidates to disclose their tax returns. The Act has been passed in the House by a vote of 220 – 210, but has been stalled in the Senate.
George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021
/ HR 1280
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021 addresses a wide range of policies and issues regarding law enforcement accountability and policing practices. The Act would ban chokeholds, limit qualified immunity, lower the criminal intent standard to convict a law enforcement officer for misconduct, and authorizes the Department of Justice to issue subpoenas in investigations of police departments for a practice of discrimination. The Act would also establish a national registry to compile data on police misconduct records. It has passed in the U.S. House, with all but two Democrats voting in favor and all but one Republicans voting against. It is currently being stalled by Republicans in the Senate.
Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021
/ HR 1620
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is a landmark federal legislation that forms our nation’s foundation to respond to and prevent gender-based violence, sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking, and authorizes funding to prevent such violence and to assist survivors. The law criminalizes such violence at the federal level and also provides resources for community-coordinated responses that work to end violence and support survivors. The 2021 reauthorization ensures key protections for LGBTQ+ survivors and important provisions concerning murdered and missing Indigenous women that would prevent non-Native defendants from moving their prosecution from tribal courts to state courts. It closes the firearms “boyfriend” loophole and establishes new measures to create housing stability and economic security for victims. This bill passed the House in March of 2021 but is stalled in the Senate.
The EQUALITY Act
S 393 / HR 5
The Equality Act creates anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people across a host of areas including employment, housing, credit, education, public services, federal programs, and jury service. It would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, as well as several other laws pertaining to employment with the federal government to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected statuses. This bill passed the House in February of 2021 but is stalled in the Senate.
Paycheck Fairness Act
/ HR 7
The Paycheck Fairness Act is intended to prevent employees from wage discrimination based on sex, gender identity, pregnancy, and sexual orientation. It limits the employer’s defense that a pay difference is based on a factor other than sex to only legitimate job-related factors in wage discrimination claims. It enhances nonretaliation measures and makes it unlawful to compel an employee to sign a contract or waiver prohibiting them from discussing their wages. It creates a grant program for training women and girls on negotiation skills within the Department of Labor, establishes studies to eliminate the wage gap between women and men, and makes information on wage discrimination available to the public to better understand the issue. This bill was passed by the House in April of 2021 and is pending in the Senate.
Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act
/ HR 842
The PRO Act aims to expand various labor protections related to employees’ rights to organize and collectively bargain in the workplace. It revises the definitions of employee, supervisor, and employer to broaden the scope of individuals covered by fair labor standards, permits labor organizations to encourage secondary strikes, and prohibits employers from bringing claims against unions that conduct secondary strikes. The PRO Act was passed in the House and is currently pending a vote in the Senate.
John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
/ HR 4
The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would fully restore the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were gutted by the Supreme Court in 2013. It aims to empower minority voters such as people of color, young people, the elderly, and disabled individuals who have historically faced barriers to voting access. Specifically, it requires states to obtain preapproval from the federal government before making any changes that affect voting rights, including methods of election, changes to jurisdiction boundaries, redistricting, changes to voting locations and opportunities, and changes to voter registration list maintenance. It also requires states to notify the public of any changes to voting practices.
The FAMILY Act
S 248 / HR 928
The FAMILY Act would create a national paid family and medical leave program. Employees would pay into the program, and it would provide workers with a portion of their earnings for a set period of time while on leave to deal with their own serious illness, the illness of a family member, to care for a new baby, or for specific military related caregiving needs. The program would provide employees with 60 working days, or 12 weeks of paid leave.
Green New Deal
SR 166 / HR 332
The Green New Deal is a call to address climate change while creating clean jobs and reducing economic inequality. It proposes many goals including achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, establishing millions of high-wage jobs, investing in infrastructure and industry, securing clean air and water, and promoting justice and equality. The Green New Deal aims to accomplish these goals through a ten-year national mobilization effort. The bill has been introduced in the House by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and in the Senate by Senator Ed Markey. It has broad support, with 101 cosponsors in the House.
Raise the Wage Act of 2021
/ HR 603
The Raise the Wage Act of 2021 would gradually increase the national minimum wage to $15/hour, and then tie future increases to median wage growth. The Act would also end the tipped wage and the practice of paying teenagers and people with disabilities a subminimum wage. Raising the federal minimum wage is an important tool in addressing racial and gender pay inequality and lifting workers out of poverty. The Raise the Wage Act has been introduced in both the House and the Senate.
Common Sense Gun Control Measures
S 736 / HR 8/HR 1446
The House recently passed two background check bills in an attempt to curtail gun violence: H.R.8 and H.R. 1446. Under current law, the FBI has three days to complete background checks for gun buyers. If the FBI cannot meet that deadline, which often occurs because of high demand for guns, the seller can legally offer the buyer the gun. HR1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, extends this deadline to 10 days and allows for a 10 day grace period. HR8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, addresses the loophole of unlicensed sellers, mandating that unlicensed and private sellers would need to conduct background checks as well. In addition, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 (S.736), introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, aims to ban assault weapons federally. Feinstein successfully passed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 1994, which was in effect for ten years, but had a sunset clause that ended the enforcement of the bill.
The BREATHE Act
The BREATHE Act would divest federal resources from incarceration and policing and invest instead in non-carceral approaches to community safety that centers Black lives, including Black mothers, Black women, and Black trans people. The Act would allocate resources to public health, housing, reentry programs, and accountability.
American Jobs Act
The American Jobs Act is an infrastructure and economic recovery bill announced by the Biden administration. It has not yet been introduced in Congress. The Act aims to revitalize our nation’s infrastructure by fixing and upgrading the country’s roads, highways, bridges, airports and transit systems. It will eliminate lead pipes and deliver clean drinking water, an updated electric grid, and high-speed internet access to underserved communities. It will invest in the infrastructure of the care economy by creating better paying jobs for home care workers. It will create jobs by building and upgrading 2 million affordable homes, schools, childcare facilities, veteran’s hospitals, and federal buildings. It aims to revitalize the U.S. manufacturing industry and will create good paying jobs that ensure workers have the right to unionize and engage in collective bargaining with their employer.
Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA)
The Women’s Health Protection Act aims to reduce federal barriers to abortion access. It outlaws state’s targeted regulations on abortion providers (TRAP laws) and other medically unnecessary requirements that abridge the right to access abortion care, including mandatory waiting periods, two-trip requirements, biased counseling, and mandatory ultrasounds.
Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Act
The EACH Act, with lead sponsor Congresswoman Barbara Lee, would reverse the 1976 Hyde Amendment, making insurance coverage for abortion available to all people regardless of income, zip code, type of insurance, or employer. The Act would prohibit federal, state, and local governments from passing laws that restrict private health insurance companies from offering abortion coverage, and restore abortion coverage to the millions who receive health insurance through the federal government, such as Medicaid, and are currently denied abortion coverage. We expect the EACH Act to be introduced in the 117th Congress.
Abortion is Healthcare Everywhere Act
The Abortion is Healthcare Everywhere Act would remove the Helms Act, making it no longer illegal to use US foreign assistant for abortion care. The Act would affirm that the US should promote safe abortion care abroad by providing funding for abortion services, training, and equipment, and collaborating with governments and service providers. We expect the Abortion is Healthcare Everywhere Act to be introduced in the 117th Congress.
Previously Endorsed Bills
Title IX Protection Act
The Title IX Protection Act would codify into law the 2011 and 2014 Department of Education Office of Civil Rights guidance that aimed to protect survivors of sexual assault on college campuses. Under this bill, accusations of sexual assault would be held to the same evidence standard as all other civil cases. It also reiterates that investigations should be conducted in a timely manner, and clarifies that survivors should not be forced into mediation with the person who has allegedly assaulted them.
HALT Campus Sexual Violence Act
The HALT Act would strengthen efforts to prevent and combat campus sexual violence by allowing the Department of Education to fine institutions found to be in violation of Title IX and increase financial penalties for Clery Act violations. It would also allow students to take legal action against negligent education institutions and require colleges and universities to publicly disclose Title IX and Clery Act investigations, sanctions, and findings.
Patsy T. Mink and Louise M. Slaughter Gender Equity in Education Act (GEEA)
S 3110 / HR 6184
The Gender Equity in Education Act (GEEA) increases federal resources to schools, school districts, states, and institutions of higher education to fully implement Title IX. GEEA establishes an Office for Gender Equity in the Department of Education and requires that this office disseminate resources and provide training to all Title IX coordinators. The office would also provide competitive grants to K-12 schools, institutions of higher education, local educational agencies, and states that have created plans to improve gender equity.
Education Department Civil Rights Transparency Act
The Education Department Civil Rights Transparency Act would require the Department of Education to publish information regarding civil rights complaints, cases, findings, and resolutions. The Act aims to ensure that the Department is protecting the civil rights of students, in particular students of color, students with disabilities, transgender students, and survivors of sexual assault.
Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2017
The EACH Woman Act would make insurance coverage for abortion available to all women regardless of income, type of insurance, employer, or zip code. The Act would prohibit federal, state, and local governments from passing laws that restrict private health insurance companies from offering abortion coverage, and restore abortion insurance coverage to the 28 million women who receive health insurance through the federal government and are currently denied abortion coverage through the 1976 Hyde Amendment.
Women’s Health Protection Act of 2017
S 510 / HR 1322
The Women’s Health Protection Act aims to protect the rights of women to access abortion services on the federal level. It outlaws state’s targeted regulations on abortion providers (TRAP laws), including requirements that individuals looking to obtain an abortion undergo medically unnecessary tests and in-person visits prior to the procedure.
Health Equity and Accountability Act of 2018
The Health Equity and Accountability Act seeks to address and eliminate disparities in healthcare access and outcomes among racial and ethnic groups. The Act builds on the Affordable Care Act by making federal resources available to target inequitable health access in vulnerable communities; creating federal guidelines for data collection and reporting; increasing cultural and linguistic-appropriate healthcare; and improving federal efforts to better health outcomes for women and families.
S 2994 and S 2988 / HR 6406
The EMPOWER Act prohibits employers from instituting non-disparagement and nondisclosure clauses as a condition of employment in relation to sexual harassment. In addition, companies would not be allowed to file tax deductions for legal fees incurred through sexual harassment cases, and they would be required to disclose the number of settlements they have made in sexual harassment cases, as well as the presence of individuals who incurred repeated settlements, in their yearly SEC filings.
Sunlight in Workplace Harassment Act
S 2454 / HR 5028
The Sunlight in Workplace Harassment Act aims to increase accountability and transparency by requiring public companies to disclose to the SEC the number and details of harassment and discrimination settlements reached. It also requires public companies to disclose how long it took to complete an investigation, and whether or not there are any investigations on going. The SEC would be prohibited from disclosing accusers’ names and other settlement details the accuser objected to.
International Violence Against Women Act
IVAWA would ensure that the Office of Global Women’s Issues at the State Department remains in operation and that the United States moves forward with a Gender Based Violence Strategy that centers the needs and experiences of survivors. IVAWA would guarantee that ending violence against women was a primary goal of United States foreign policy and that response to gender-based violence is included in all international humanitarian aid efforts.
Keep Families Together Act
The Keep Families Together Act would prohibit the government from removing a migrant child from their migrant parent or guardian at or near a port of entry or within 100 miles of the United States border. The Act bars the government from separating children from their parents for the purpose of deterring other individuals from migrating to the United States.
Other Bills We have Supported, but Haven’t Officially Endorsed
The DREAM Act would allow undocumented immigrant youth—most of whom grew up in the United States—to apply for permanent residency and eventually citizenship. The Act would also end the deportation proceeding of anyone who qualified for this residency and citizenship process, as well as children over five years of age who are in elementary or middle school.
Assault Weapons Ban
The Assault Weapons Ban would restrict the sale, importation, and possession of assault weapons and limit the maximum number of bullets allowed in a magazine.