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July 19, 2023

Ahead of Centennial, Pressley Moves to Compel Vote on Equal Rights Amendment

Files Discharge Petition on Resolution Affirming Ratification of ERA

Pressley, Cardin to Host Reception Today in Capitol to Mark Centennial

Resolution Text | Resolution Summary 

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Co-Chair of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) Caucus, led her colleagues in filing a “discharge petition” that could compel the House to hold a vote on H.J. Res. 25, her joint resolution to affirm the ratification of the ERA and enshrine it as the 28th Amendment. Her resolution, which would remove the arbitrary deadline for ratification of the ERA, comes ahead of the centennial anniversary of its introduction on July, 21, 1923 and follows the Senate’s obstruction of the resolution in April.

Rep. Pressley and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) will host a reception today at 3:30pm in the U.S. Capitol to mark the centennial anniversary. RSVP information is available here.

“Nearly 100 years since the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced, our broad, diverse, and intersectional movement is using every tool available to get the ERA over the finish line and enshrine gender equality into our Constitution,” said Rep. Pressley. “Our Republican colleagues have the opportunity, once again, to stand on the right side of history and support the dignity, humanity, and equality of every person who calls America home. They must meet the moment.”

“The Equal Rights Amendment is all about equality—the most fundamental of American values. After 100 years, we are closer than ever to realizing the vision of the ERA,” said Senator Cardin, lead sponsor of S.J. Res. 4, the Senate companion resolution. “The required 38 states have already ratified the ERA, and it is long past time that Congress formally recognized the ERA as a part of our Constitution. I’m committed to pushing forward on all fronts until we finally see equality enshrined into our Constitution. There should be no deadline on equality.”

“This week marks the 100th anniversary of the unveiling of the Equal Rights Amendment at Seneca Falls. Seeing the ERA through to publication will require bold and decisive action, which Rep. Pressley is taking today by launching a discharge petition to bring HJ Res 25 to the House floor for a vote. Today’s ERA movement is multi-generational, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, intersectional, and inclusive, led by Black and brown women, LGBTQ+ people, and youth,” said Zakiya Thomas, President and CEO of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality. “We’re grateful to the leadership of Representatives Pressley, Bush, Dean, Garcia, Kamlager-Dove, and Spanberger for advancing equality of all women, especially women of color, and LGBTQ+ folks; making sure we are all represented and seen in our Constitution.  This fight won’t end here! We are in this, along with our nearly 300 partner organizations, until we’ve achieved true equal protection under the law for all.”

Under House rules, if a discharge petition to compel a vote on a particular piece of legislation is signed by 218 members of the House, it must immediately be brought before the full chamber for a vote, regardless of any objections or attempts by GOP leadership to block the legislation from being considered.

Now that it’s been filed, the discharge petition will remain open for Members of Congress to sign until it garners the necessary 218 signatures necessary to be called up for a vote.

Rep. Pressley and Sen. Cardin initially introduced their resolution in January alongside Congresswomen Madeleine Dean (PA-04), Sylvia Garcia (TX-29), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), ERA Caucus Co-Chair Cori Bush (MO 01), Sydney Kamlager-Dove (CA-37), and Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

The Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced 100 years ago to codify gender equality.

Ratifying the ERA, which states, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex”, would affirm gender equality in our Constitution, enshrining the principle of equality and an explicit prohibition against sex discrimination in the nation’s foundational document.

As the 28th Amendment, the ERA would serve as a new tool—for Congress, for federal agencies, and in the courts—to advance equality in the fields of workforce and pay, pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment and violence, reproductive autonomy, and protections for LGBTQ+ individuals. Enshrining this protection in our Constitution also ensures enduring protections for all Americans across the country.

Rep. Pressley is a founder and co-chair of the ERA Caucus and has fought to affirm gender equality in the Constitution.

  • In July 2023, Rep. Pressley joined Rep. Cori Bush (MO-01) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) in unveiling a resolution recognizing the Equal Rights Amendment as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.
  • In June 2023, during Pride Month, a coalition of LGBTQ+ grassroots organizations expressed support for H.J.Res. 25, a bicameral joint resolution to affirm the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and enshrine gender equality in the U.S. Constitution.
  • In April 2023, Rep. Pressley and the Congressional Caucus on the Equal Rights Amendment rallied behind the Senate’s efforts to bring the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to a vote. Later that day, Rep. Pressley responded to the failed passage on the House Floor.
  • In March 2023, Rep. Pressley and Rep. Cori Bush (MO-01) led their colleagues in launching the first-ever Congressional Caucus for the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • In March 2023 ahead of the ERA Caucus launch, Rep. Pressley delivered a powerful House floor speech commemorating the legacy and contributions of Black women at the forefront of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • In March 2023, on the House floor, Rep. Pressley honored the late Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm and her contributions as a legislator, including her advocacy to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
  • In February 2023, Rep. Pressley, along with Chairwoman Lois Frankel (FL-21) and the Democratic Women’s Caucus, issued a statement applauding the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
  • In January 2023, Rep. Pressley and Sen. Cardin led their colleagues in introducing a bicameral, joint resolution to remove the arbitrary deadline for ratification of the ERA and recognize the amendment as a valid part of the Constitution.