Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.J.Res. 79 removing the arbitrary timeline on the ERA by a vote of 232-183, with five Republicans voting in favor of the resolution. Below is a statement of Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority:
“The U.S. House declared today: There is no time limit on equality. How sweet it is! The U.S. House has acted swiftly to remove this arbitrary timeline. The removal of the timeline by the U.S. House today is perfect—no time has been wasted since Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA.
The amendment had been trapped in committee for 48 years without a floor vote. In 2020, finally after 401 years, the speaker of the Virginia House, the Majority Leader, and the co-sponsors of the ERA are all feminist women. Women won, women acted, and the ERA was passed!
In 1972, when the ERA was first approved by the U.S. House, only 3% of its membership was comprised of women representatives. Then it took 49 years of feminist activism for the Congress to act. Now that women are in the leadership of the House and 24% of its membership, it has acted in just a little over two weeks since the Virginia ratification. What a difference women in leadership make!
The ERA has overwhelming public support nationwide today. Some polls reveal that public support for the ERA is over 90%. It was never a matter of if, only when the ERA would be ratified. Women have fought long and hard for equal rights under the law. The ERA is a giant step forward for equality and justice for all.”###