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December 14, 2022

Pressley Calls Out Senate Republicans for Blocking Passage of CROWN Act

CROWN Act Would Ban Race-Based Hair Discrimination Nationally

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) issued the following statement on Senate Republicans’ obstruction of the Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act, her legislation with Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Gwen Moore (WI-04), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) that would ban discrimination based on hair textures and hairstyles that are commonly associated with a particular race or national origin. The CROWN Act passed the House of Representatives in March 2022.

“That Republicans would block passage of the CROWN Act in the Senate is unconscionable, but unsurprising given their blatant disregard for civil rights and contempt for Black, brown, and marginalized communities,” said Rep. Pressley. “Black hair is beautiful, and no amount of racism or ignorance from the other side of the aisle will stop the power of our movement. I won’t stop pressing to ban race-based hair discrimination and I urge the Senate to use any legislative avenue to pass this critical bill and send it to President Biden’s desk.”

Earlier this year, Rep. Pressley delivered a speech on the House floor in which she called for passage of the CROWN Act. A full transcript of her remarks is available here.

The CROWN Act is cosponsored by a bipartisan group of 116 Representatives. A companion bill is sponsored in the Senate by New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.

In September, Rep. Pressley and Rep. Jim McGovern (MA-02) led their colleagues in re-introducing the Wigs as Durable Medical Equipment Act, legislation to help individuals affected by Alopecia Areata and patients with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy by allowing medical wigs and other head coverings to be covered under the Medicare program.

In 2020, the House passed an amendment introduced by Congresswoman Pressley to provide $5 million dollars for the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases to fund research on the causes, impacts, and possible treatments of Alopecia areata.