Progressive lawmakers launch Equal Rights Amendment caucus

Ayanna Pressley, Jamaal Bowman, Cori Bush
Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., flanked by Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., left, and Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., tells reporters she is introducing a resolution to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., of her committee assignments for repeatedly making anti-Muslim remarks aimed at Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Progressive lawmakers launch Equal Rights Amendment caucus

Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) have announced the launch of a congressional caucus aimed at getting the Equal Rights Amendment passed.

The lawmakers, in a joint news release, said the push to pass the ERA comes 100 years since it was introduced.

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“Exactly 100 years after the ERA was first introduced in Congress in 1923, the launch of this caucus serves to commemorate the centennial of the struggle for constitutional gender equality,” Bush and Pressley said in a news release per the Hill.

The two congresswomen are set to formally introduce the caucus in a press conference on Tuesday.

The ERA has been discussed for a century, with proponents saying it would codify equal rights on the basis of sex and opponents arguing it would strip women of certain protections, including their current exclusion from conscription.

Pressley spoke briefly about the ERA in a speech on the House floor on Friday, while commemorating Shirley Chisholm for Women’s History Month, saying the ERA is “a cause I’m honored to lead in partnership with my colleagues and movement allies in the House today.”

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The proposed amendment to the Constitution was passed by both the House and the Senate, and was sent to states for ratification in 1972. Only 35 states ratified the ERA by the 1982 deadline, leaving it three states short of adoption.

Since 1982, several states have ratified and revoked ratification of the ERA. Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the ERA, meeting the three-fourths requirement but after the deadline had expired.

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