(House of Representatives - February 13, 2020)

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[Pages H1129-H1143]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 844, I call 
up the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 79) removing the deadline for the 
ratification of the equal rights amendment, and ask for its immediate 
  The Clerk read the title of the joint resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. Wexton). Pursuant to House Resolution 
844, the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the 
Committee on the Judiciary, printed in the joint resolution, is adopted 
and the joint resolution, as amended, is considered read.
  The text of the joint resolution, as amended, is as follows:

                              H.J. Res. 79

       Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
     United States of America in Congress assembled, That 
     notwithstanding any time limit contained in House Joint 
     Resolution 208, 92d Congress, as agreed to in the Senate on 
     March 22, 1972, the article of amendment proposed to the 
     States in that joint resolution shall be valid to all intents 
     and purposes as part of the United States Constitution 
     whenever ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the 
     several States.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The joint resolution, as amended, shall be 
debatable for 1 hour, equally divided and controlled by the chair and 
ranking minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary.
  The gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler) and the gentleman from 
Georgia (Mr. Collins) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York.

                             General Leave

  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and insert extraneous material on H.J. Res. 79.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from New York?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, this is long-overdue legislation to ensure that the 
equal rights amendment can finally become the 28th amendment to the 
United States Constitution.
  This year, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of women gaining 
the right to vote. Despite the century that has elapsed, our 
Constitution still does not recognize or guarantee full equal 
protection of the law for women and gender minorities, but H.J. Res. 79 
would bring us one step closer.
  The resolution removes the previous deadline Congress set for 
ratifying the ERA and will, therefore, ensure that recent ratifications 
by Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia are given full effect.
  The ERA offers a basic and fundamental guarantee: Equality of rights 
under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or 
by any State on account of sex.
  That is it. Very simple.
  In the years since it was passed by overwhelming bipartisan 
majorities in the House and the Senate, we have made great strides to 
secure that equality, including through existing case law decided under 
the 14th Amendment.
  The ERA would enshrine those principles and take the final critical 
step of ensuring that laws disadvantaging women and gender minorities 
are subject to the most rigorous form of constitutional scrutiny.
  In recent years, we have seen a series of breakthroughs for women's 
rights and gender equality. We have seen millions of women march in 
support of their rights and dignity as equal citizens. Through the 
#MeToo movement, we have had long-overdue and sometimes painful 
conversations about the violence and harassment that women and gender 
minorities experience, whether in the workplace, at home, or in schools 
and universities.
  We have seen women get elected to Congress in record numbers. And 
just weeks ago, Virginia became the necessary 38th and the last 
necessary State to ratify the equal rights amendment. We are on the 
brink of making history, and no deadline should stand in the way.
  The Constitution itself places no deadlines on the process for 
ratifying constitutional amendments, making it doubtful whether 
Congress had the authority to impose such a deadline in the first 
place. But if it had such authority, then Congress clearly also has the 
authority to remove any deadline that it previously chose to set.
  I want to thank Representative Jackie Speier for introducing this 
resolution, which takes that important step. This resolution will 
ensure, at long last, the equal rights amendment, having been proposed 
by Congress years ago, having now been ratified by three-quarters of 
the States, can take its rightful place as part of our Nation's 
  I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, three-quarters of the States 
failed to ratify the equal rights amendment by the 1979 deadline set by 
Congress, yet House Democrats are trying to retroactively revive the 
failed constitutional amendment.
  Congress does not have the power to do that. Congress set the 
deadline; it was passed; it did not get approved; and now there is an 
end run to go around that.
  The United States Supreme Court recognized this in 1982 when it 
stated that the issue was moot because the deadline for ERA 
ratification expired before the requisite number of States approved it.
  The next year, the Democratic leadership in the House of 

[[Page H1130]]

acting on the same understanding, started the entire process of ERA 
approval over again. But that new ERA also failed to achieve the 
required two-thirds majority in the House on November 15, 1983.
  But today, in defiance of historical reality and the clear acceptance 
of the situation by all relevant participants in the original debate, 
the Democrats have brought forward a resolution that denies the 
obvious. Now, the proponents of this resolution want to convince their 
base that if both Houses of Congress pass this joint resolution, and it 
is signed into law, the 1972 ERA will become part of the Constitution 
just because the Democrats control the Virginia State legislature and 
that legislature passed the ERA this year.
  Even current Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg--and she is 
taking a lot of heat for this--a supporter of ERA since its beginning, 
has said, just a few months ago:

       I hope someday we will start all over again on the ERA, 
     collecting the necessary States to ratify it.

  On Monday of this week, Justice Ginsburg said of the ERA:

       I would like to see a new beginning. I would like to see it 
     start over. There is too much controversy about latecomers--
     Virginia, long after the deadline passed. Plus a number of 
     States have withdrawn their ratification. So if you count a 
     latecomer on the plus side, how can you disregard States that 
     said: We have changed our minds.

  Congress does not have the constitutional authority to retroactively 
revive the failed constitutional amendment and to subject the citizens 
of all 50 States to what may be the current political trends in just 
one State.
  The U.S. Supreme Court has already recognized that. Past Democratic 
leaderships of the House have recognized that. Justice Ginsburg has 
recognized that. But apparently, the current Democratic leadership is 
intent on rewriting history.
  As we have our debate today, I will show, and our speakers will show, 
what the real intent about this is, and it has nothing to do with equal 
rights. It has a lot to do with other issues that will be exposed 
  With that, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Speier), the chief sponsor of this bill.
  Ms. SPEIER. Madam Speaker, I thank the chairman for his extraordinary 
leadership on this issue.
  This is very simple, Members. Women want to be equal, and we want it 
in the Constitution.
  I am equal on this House floor with all of my male colleagues, but 
when I walk out, I have fewer rights and protections than them.
  I rise today because the women of America are done being second-class 
citizens. We are done being paid less for our work, done being violated 
with impunity, done being discriminated against for our pregnancies, 
done being discriminated against simply because we are women.
  The ERA is about equality. The ERA is about sisterhood, motherhood, 
survival, dignity, and respect.
  The world recognizes this. Of the 193 countries in the United 
Nations, 165 have put this kind of language in their constitutions, but 
not the United States of America.
  From the Women's March to the #MeToo movement to the pink wave, the 
outrage we have seen among women is because we have been disrespected, 
devalued, and diminished in our society. And we are fed up.
  It is no wonder recent votes to ratify the ERA came in 2017, 2018, 
and 2020, because we want the ERA now. We have waited for almost a 
century for the ERA.
  I want to thank my Republican cosponsors of this resolution, 
including Congressmen Reed, Fitzpatrick, and Van Drew.
  I know most of you recognize that this is the right thing to do for 
your wives, daughters, and granddaughters. Ninety-four percent of 
Americans already support the ERA. In fact, they are surprised it is 
not already in the Constitution.
  Now, some of you will say just restart the process, but you are the 
same people who admit you won't vote for it. Some will say, ``Well, 
women already have equality,'' while they vote against VAWA 
reauthorization, vote against paycheck fairness, chip away at title IX.
  For too long, women have relied on the patchwork quilt of laws and 
precedents. We have put our lives on the line. We have been forced to 
take our cases all the way to the Supreme Court, and often, there, we 
  For my colleagues who think we already have women's equality, talk to 
Christy Brzonkala, who was raped by two football players at Virginia 
Tech. She sought justice under the Violence Against Women Act, but the 
Supreme Court struck down the civil suit provisions, claiming Congress 
lacked the authority to pass it.
  Talk to Lilly Ledbetter, who had to rely on an anonymous note to 
learn she was paid less than her male colleagues at Goodyear.
  Talk to Betty Duke, who was passed over for promotions and paid 
$10,000 less for her work at Walmart.
  Talk to Peggy Young, who was placed on unpaid leave, losing her 
health insurance, while pregnant, at UPS, all the while men were 
granted the exact same accommodation that she was denied.
  The ERA is about building the America we want. It is about forming a 
more perfect Union because, simply put, there can be no expiration date 
on equality.
  I urge my colleagues to affirm their support for women's equality and 
vote for this resolution.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Arizona (Mrs. Lesko).
  Mrs. LESKO. Madam Speaker, I am a woman, so I obviously care and 
support equal rights for women. But I oppose this bill for three 
  First, the bill is not constitutional. When the ERA originally passed 
Congress, it explicitly set a deadline for ratification. The deadline 
was in 1979, almost 41 years ago. Only 35 States of the 38 needed had 
ratified it. Then five States unratified it. So the count is down to 
30. Thus, the equal rights amendment was dead.
  The U.S. Department of Justice issued a legal opinion just last 
month, reiterating that the ERA's ratification timeline is expired.
  Supreme Court Justice Ruth Ginsburg said:

       The deadline passed. I would like to see a new beginning. I 
     would like it to start over.

  Secondly, the ERA is not necessary. Women's equality of rights under 
the law is already recognized in our Constitution in the Fifth and 14th 
Amendments. The ACLU's women's rights director wrote: ``It has been 
clearly understood that the 14th Amendment prohibits discrimination 
based on sex.'' Plus, many Federal, State, and local laws already 
prohibit sex discrimination.
  The third reason I oppose this bill: If ratified, the ERA would be 
used by pro-abortion groups to undo pro-life legislation and lead to 
more abortions and taxpayer funding of abortions.
  But don't take my word for it. Let's look at what pro-abortion groups 
have done and what they say.
  In 1998, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the 
State's ERA required the State to fund abortions. NARAL Pro-Choice 
America, which supports abortions, asserted that the ERA would 
reinforce the constitutional right to abortion and would require judges 
to strike down anti-abortion laws.
  In a 2019 letter to the House Judiciary Committee, the ACLU stated: 
The equal rights amendment could provide an additional layer of 
protection against restrictions on abortion.
  In conclusion, this bill is unconstitutional. The ERA is unnecessary, 
since constitutional Federal, State, and local laws already guarantee 
equal protections. And the ERA, if ratified, would be used by pro-
abortion groups to undo pro-life laws.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, again, the deadline was not part of the 
amendment. It was a resolution by Congress. And if Congress can set a 
deadline, it can remove a deadline.
  I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), the 
distinguished majority leader of the House.
  (Mr. HOYER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 

                              {time}  0930

  Mr. HOYER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

[[Page H1131]]

  I thank Representative Speier, Representative Maloney, and all of 
those who have been such warriors on this issue for such a long period 
of time. They are keeping the faith.
  This constitutional amendment was passed in 1972, to be specific, in 
the early part of 1972. I was a member of the Maryland State Senate in 
1972, and I had the honor in the late spring of 1972, just months after 
the ERA had been passed, of voting to ratify that.
  Now, the previous speaker said in only 35 States. That is 70 percent 
of the States ratified that in a timely fashion. Timely in the sense 
that we set in a resolution, as the chairman pointed out, a date. 
Seventy percent of the States of this Nation.
  Now, it needed three more States. It has now received three more 
States. I have been an advocate for the equal rights amendment for 
essentially 4 decades, actually longer. I will be proud to vote for it 
  Just a few months, as I said, after Congress adopted the ERA, 
Maryland voted for ratification. I thought that it was long overdue 
even then in 1972. Here we are some 48 years later, and it still is.
  Our Founders declared ``all men are created equal'' in their 
Declaration of Independence. Surely, no Founder, if they were writing 
that document today, would have said ``men'' meant white, property-
owning men. Surely, they would not have written that. Surely, none of 
us would have supported that.
  Since the very beginning Americans have been taking steps, therefore, 
to define that in a more expansive, inclusive term representing our 
universal values. We amended the Constitution to ensure African 
Americans and women could not be denied the right to vote. It took a 
long time. Particularly, I hope the women in this body will think of 
the suffragettes who were extraordinarily active and involved in our 
community and making decisions in our families and in our communities 
and country but who could not vote prior to 1919.
  From 1789 to 1919 women could not vote. I am the father of three 
daughters, the grandfather of two granddaughters, and the great-
grandfather of three great-granddaughters. For me to go home to them 
tonight and say I voted against your being equal in America. Now, my 
wife passed away, but if I went home to her tonight and said I voted 
against your being equal in America or those grandchildren and great-
grandchildren who happen to have been born as women and say to them I 
voted against your being equal in America today.
  We passed the Civil Rights Act to make clear that all must be treated 
equal regardless of race. We passed the ADA, which I cosponsored 30 
years ago to ban discrimination against those with disabilities. But 
still nowhere in our Constitution does it state clearly that women must 
be treated equally and that one must not be subject to discrimination 
because of their gender.
  The ERA would enshrine that basic tenant of our democracy in our 
Constitution at long last. Seventy percent of the States and then three 
more said that ought to be in our Constitution. Three-quarters of the 
States have voted to ratify this amendment.
  Discrimination against women has through our history kept bright and 
talented Americans from achieving their full potential in our economy. 
Because of their hard work, the sacrifices, the leadership, and the 
perseverance of trailblazing women, we have seen barriers come down, 
doors of opportunity open, and glass ceilings shatter.
  Discrimination, inequality, and injustice persist, and we will hear 
arguments on this floor rationalizing why discrimination ought to still 
exist. And as long as our Constitution does not explicitly ban 
discrimination based upon gender as it does based on race, we will 
continue to see forms of legal discrimination against women linger in 
our country.
  Taking this step to add the equal rights amendment to the 
Constitution is one of the many that House Democrats are taking to 
combat discrimination against women simply because they are women.
  Last year, we passed the Paycheck Fairness Act. Not everybody voted 
for that, but, in my opinion, everybody voted for that who thought 
equal pay should mean equal pay, irrespective of gender and based upon 
work performed. That built on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 
to ensure equal pay for equal work.
  We also passed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. 
Most of us on our side voted for that, but there was a rationalization 
why some thought, no, we will not protect women against violence.
  We have continued working to protect women's rights to make their own 
healthcare choices and to access quality affordable care.
  Who said that was part of the Constitution?
  The Supreme Court of the United States. They said that was a 
constitutional right and we see effort after effort to erode that 
constitutional right.
  I am proud that the Democratic Caucus in the 116th Congress is not 
only the most diverse in American history, but also includes the 
greatest number of women.
  In Virginia, it was an election that saw the house of delegates reach 
30 percent women and the State senate reach 28 percent. Once it got 
there, the women of Virginia stood up and said this ought to be in the 
Constitution of the United States, and they voted to do so. Virginia 
now has a woman speaker of the house, as we do in our U.S. House, and 
as my home State of Maryland has in our house of delegates. It is 
because more women are stepping up to run for office and winning 
elections that more women's voices are being heard in our democracy.
  That is why this resolution is on the floor. That is a wonderful 
thing, and I have been proud to help recruit talented women to run for 
the House as Democrats. And very frankly, we need more women as 
Republicans, a diminishing group, I might add.
  I urge my colleagues, men and women, Democrats and Republicans, to 
join in supporting this resolution.

  And, finally, is it too late?
  It is too late. But it is never too late to do the right thing.
  Make this part of our Constitution. Stand up and say, yes, women 
should be included as all humankind who are endowed by their creator 
with certain unalienable rights. That is the principle that we are 
articulating today.
  Alice Paul, who first wrote the ERA and campaigned for it for most of 
her life was once asked why she kept all her focus on getting the job 
done, and she said this, ``When you put your hand to the plow, you 
can't put it down until you get to the end of the row.'' We are not at 
the end of the row, but this is a way upon that row to make it complete 
to make our Constitution protect all people, male or female, Black or 
white, all people.
  At long last, let's hold firm to that plow. Let's get the job done. 
Vote ``yes'' on this resolution.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Missouri (Mrs. Hartzler).
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I rise today to commend the women who have gone before us to 
celebrate the achievements that women have made and to reaffirm the 
fact that we are equal in the eyes of God and in law.
  Women make up 51 percent of the population, comprise over half of the 
college students, make up most of today's medical and law school 
students and own the majority of new businesses.
  Women are not victims in need of validation. Little girls can be 
whatever they want to be, whether that be an astronaut, a doctor, a 
full-time mom working at home, or a member of Congress.
  In addition, Federal law and court precedent uphold our rights. That 
is something to applaud, and I do. However, today's legislation is 
problematic on several fronts.
  First, the resolution is unconstitutional. The time limit to pass the 
ERA expired decades ago. Congress can't go back and remove a deadline 
from a previous constitutional amendment initiative. The Supreme Court 
has recognized that the 1972 ERA expired, and the Department of Justice 
issued a ruling saying Congress may not revive a proposed amendment 
after a deadline for its ratification has expired. Pretending that we 
can remove the time limits for passage is both futile and deceptive.
  Secondly, if the time limit could be extended, the ERA would not 

[[Page H1132]]

women any more rights than they currently have right now, but it would 
entrench the legality of abortion. We know this from court precedent by 
listening to those who have the most to gain from constitutionally 
protecting abortion on demand.
  In 1998, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that the equal rights 
amendment in their State constitution requires State funding of 
abortions. Federal courts are likely to do the same. Perhaps that is 
why every pro-abortion organization is endorsing passage of the ERA.
  NARAL Pro-Choice America says, ``With its ratification, the ERA would 
reinforce the constitutional right to abortion.''
  The National Organization for Women says, ``An ERA--properly 
interpreted--could negate the hundreds of laws that have passed 
restricting access to abortion. . . . `'
  But that is not the only concern with passing this resolution. 
Besides being unconstitutional and shredding State and Federal pro-life 
protections, the ERA would also erase decades of progress which have 
provided opportunities for women, advance women's progress through 
Federal programs, and secure necessary protections for women and girls.
  How? By incorporating gender identity in the definition of sex, 
jeopardizing private spaces for women, girls' sports programs, and 
women's educational institutions.
  The ERA endangers laws, programs, and funding designed to benefit 
women providing a pathway for legal challenges to welfare programs, 
grants for battered women's shelters, efforts to bolster women 
participating in STEM programs, as well as State laws governing child 
support, alimony, and custody. These outcomes are anything but pro 
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no.''
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Cohen).
  Mr. COHEN. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  I rise in strong support of H.J. Res. 79, which takes a key step to 
ensure that the equal rights amendment will become part of our 
  Nearly 100 years after women gained the right to vote, it is 
difficult to believe we still haven't given women equal rights. It is 
hard to believe it is a serious disagreement in this Chamber.

  In the year 2020, it is unacceptable that women still make only 80 
cents for every dollar earned by men and that women are still subject 
to violence, harassment and attacks on their freedom to control their 
own bodies.
  In Judiciary Committee this morning, a brilliant female law clerk is 
describing sexual harassment by a distinguished and respected ninth 
circuit judge. This should never happen. And with ongoing efforts to 
undermine progress we have made; the equal rights amendment is more 
important than ever.
  It took over 130 years to give women the right to vote. It is almost 
100 years since they have gotten it. It is time to give women their 
proper place in the Constitution of the United States, which most 
modern constitutions have, equality regardless of sex.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Indiana (Mrs. Walorski).
  Mrs. WALORSKI. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. I 
rise today in opposition to H.J. Res. 79.
  Of course, I believe in equal rights. Women should never face 
discrimination and harassment. I believe we should be empowering women 
and girls to achieve their dreams.
  So it is disappointing today to stand in this Chamber and see this 
important issue turned into some type of political stunt. The deadline 
for States to ratify the ERA passed nearly 4 decades ago. Even Justice 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg has stated the only path forward is to start over.
  Let's be honest, this is not about equality or women's rights. This 
is about enshrining unrestricted abortion in the Constitution and 
allowing full taxpayer funding for abortion. Now is not the time to be 
weakening pro-life protections.
  Yesterday, in South Bend, Indiana, in my district, the remains of 
2,411 victims of abortion were finally given a dignified burial after 
spending 20 years in moldy Styrofoam boxes in the back of the doctor/
abortionist's car and in his basement.

                              {time}  0945

  These unborn boys and girls would be young men and women today 
entering college.
  Moments ago, we stood on this House floor together and we offered a 
moment of silence that these innocent lives were taken and there were 
victims, over 2,400.
  Madam Speaker, I would ask that, together, we stand again to defend 
the rights of the most vulnerable among us, that we stand together 
today for the sanctity of life, to lift women up, to protect women, and 
to strengthen families.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in voting against this 
misguided resolution.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Rhode Island (Mr. Cicilline).
  Mr. CICILLINE. Madam Speaker, with Virginia becoming the 38th State 
to ratify the equal rights amendment, today we make it clear that 
Congress never intended the arbitrary deadline to act as a barrier to 
ratification of this vital amendment.
  Ratification of the equal rights amendment affirms our Nation's 
values by codifying an expressed prohibition against sex discrimination 
in our Nation's foundational document.
  While our Nation's courts have properly recognized that women are 
entitled to equal protection under the law, we have a responsibility to 
do all that we can to guarantee that, regardless of sex, all Americans 
are treated the same in every aspect of their lives, including making a 
living, obtaining healthcare, and accessing public services.
  These rights must not be swayed by political ideology or depend on 
judicial philosophy. Equality is a founding value of this great country 
and, more than any other word, describes the very idea of America.
  Madam Speaker, a vote for H.J. Res. 79 is a vote for equality. I urge 
my colleagues to support H.J. Res. 79.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the 
gentleman from Wisconsin, (Mr. Sensenbrenner).
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to this 
  Listening to people on the other side say that there is a cornucopia 
of benefits awaiting women should the ERA become a part of the 
Constitution, I am here to ask Members on both sides of the aisle to 
look past what looks nice on a bumper sticker or a 40-second sound bite 
to realize that there are going to be many consequences that will hurt 
women should this be ratified. I will just talk about insurance, 
because insurance is regulated by the States.
  Girls get substantially lower rates on auto insurance because they 
are better drivers. With the ERA and the State regulation, that would 
become unconstitutional, and girls are going to have to pay boy 
drivers' rates for auto insurance, which really does not reflect the 
actuarial exposure of that at all.
  Secondly, look at life insurance. Women live longer than men and, as 
a result, in life insurance, also regulated by the States, you see 
women's rates being lower than men's rates becoming unconstitutional, 
and women are going to be paying more to life insurance companies for 
the coverage that they decide on.
  I could go on and on and on. We had a lot of hearings on this in 
  I am here to say that, when the ERA was originally passed in 1972, 
women's rights were not enshrined in a lot of State laws. There has 
been tremendous progress in this area both at the Federal level and in 
the States. The proponents of this resolution completely ignore that 
happening. We don't.
  We think that the statutory protections that have been passed all 
around the country in the last almost 50 years have advanced women and 
have addressed a lot of the complaints that we hear from that side of 
the aisle.
  This is going to unleash a Pandora's box of lots of litigation that 
has been raised by this, some of which has been brought up by my 
colleagues on this side.

[[Page H1133]]

  Let's not enrich the lawyers. Let's do the right thing. Don't pass 
this resolution. Enforce the laws that have been passed both here and 
in the State capitols.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee).
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, I thank all of the women of America. 
I thank the sponsor of this bill. I thank the chairman of the Judiciary 
Committee and the ranking member for being on the floor. I thank him.
  I ask the question: Does anybody see the sense of women not being in 
the most powerful document of laws and power of the American people?
  Let us be reminded of the words of Abigail Adams: ``I long to hear 
that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new 
code of laws''--which she is saying to her husband--``which I suppose 
it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the 
ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. 
Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands.''
  I rise enthusiastically to support H.J. Res. 79 and to say to my 
colleagues there is no constitutional prohibition for passing this.
  We are grandly involved because this is the 1972 passage by the State 
of Texas of the equal rights amendment. And here, in 1977, Betty 
Friedan and Bella Abzug were in Houston at the 1977 National Women's 
Conference that our predecessor, Barbara Jordan, was at.
  Let us pass H.J. Res. 79, because, as Abigail Adams said, let's 
remember the ladies.
  Madam Speaker, as a senior member of the Committee on the Judiciary 
and an original cosponsor, I rise in strong and enthusiastic support of 
H.J. Res. 79, which eliminates the ratification deadline for the Equal 
Rights Amendment and will lead to the long overdue adding of the ERA as 
the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  Madam Speaker, I am reminded of the imperative powerfully expressed 
on March 31, 1776 in Braintree, Massachusetts in a letter from Abigail 
Adams, the future First Lady, to her husband John Adams:

       I long to hear that you have declared an independency--and 
     by the way in the new Code of Laws which I suppose it will be 
     necessary for you to make I desire you would Remember the 
     Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your 
     ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of 
     the Husbands.

  The resolution before us will help enshrine for all time the belief, 
promise, and commitment that all men, and women, are created equal and 
endowed with by the Creator with the same inalienable rights to life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  We are making real this promise thanks to the bipartisan resolution 
introduced by Congresswoman Spiers of California.
  The Constitution does not prohibit the action we are taking; in fact, 
it permits it since ratification deadlines are not even mentioned, much 
less imposed by the Constitution. This resolution reinforces that, the 
previous deadline is no bar to passing the ERA.
  Under Article V of the Constitution, the Equal Rights Amendment 
``shall be valid to all intents and purposes whenever ratified by the 
legislatures of three-fourths of the several states.''
  A resolution identical to H.J. Res. 79 has been introduced in the 
United States Senate, which I call upon the Senate to take up and pass 
  Madam Speaker, it is useful to review how we arrived at this moment 
in history.
  Beginning in the late 1960s, the National Organization for Women 
(NOW) devised and began implementing a strategy of pushing for equal 
rights through a combination of impact litigation and advocacy for the 
Equal Rights Amendment.
  I remember this particularly well because in November 1977, the first 
National Women's Conference was held in Houston, Texas and attended my 
congressional predecessor, the Honorable Barbara Jordan.
  The National Women's Conference was inspired by a 1975 United 
Nations-sponsored event from two years prior which led President Gerald 
Ford to establish a national commission to investigate women's issues.
  Congress later voted to provide $5 million to fund the organization 
of regional conferences and to hold a national gathering at the 
conclusion, the result of these efforts was the National Women's 
Conference meant to unite all women and give them an opportunity to 
voice their hopes for the future of the government.
  I remember that Phyllis Schlafly of the conservative Eagle Forum 
organized and came to Houston to lead backlash demonstration protesting 
the ERA and the women's movement, claiming that the ERA would force 
women to give up their right to be supported by their husbands, and 
subject them to the military. draft and deployment to Vietnam.
  That was the launch of the conservative counter-offensive to derail 
ratification of the ERA and the beginning of the schism that has seen 
equality between the sexes and expanding the economic, privacy, and 
political rights of women subject to increasing partisan debate and 
action that is continues to the present day.
  In 1970, Congresswoman Martha Griffiths of Michigan filed a discharge 
petition in the House to bring the ERA to the floor, after the 
Judiciary Committee consistently refused to act on it.
  The discharge petition was adopted, and the ERA passed the House by a 
wide margin.
  The Senate Judiciary Committee also held several days of hearings in 
1970 on its version of the ERA but it failed to gain enough votes that 
  On October 12, 1971, the House voted by 354-24 to approve a version 
of the ERA that stated:
  Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each house 
concurring therein), that the following article is proposed as an 
amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be 
valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when 
ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States 
within seven years of its submission by the Congress:
  Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or 
abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.
  Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by 
appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
  Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date 
of ratification.
  On March 22, 1972, the Senate passed the ERA by a vote of 84-8.
  The following month, Madam Speaker, I graduated from college in the 
first undergraduate class of women to attend Yale University in 
September 1969.
  I was a member of the group of 250 upper-class women who transferred 
to Yale University, a number that eventually led to 1,500 women being 
admitted over the years, in addition to the 4,000 male students.
  Between September 12-14, 1969 undergraduate women students arrived on 
campus and at that time, 48 of 817 FAS faculty were women and only two 
had tenure.
  I am proud to be a part of the history of Yale University and had the 
opportunity to speak about my experience at the 50th Anniversary last 
  The presence of women at Yale, which had been an all-male institution 
was a sign of the change that was sweeping the nation.
  I first arrived at Yale with the anticipation and anxiety of any 
college student arriving on campus for the first time.
  This was an extraordinary milestone--both for Yale and for us young 
  But being a ``first'' is not all that people may assume that it is.
  In the centennial year of the 19th Amendment, on January 15, 2020, 
the Virginia General Assembly became the 38th state to vote to ratify 
the Equal Rights Amendment, the magic number needed to become enshrined 
in the Constitution.
  Because of the ERA, women are finally included in our Constitution, 
making them equal to men under law.
  A vote to eliminate the ratification deadline for the ERA is a vote 
for equality; a vote against the measure is a vote to preserve the 
legacy of sex discrimination.
  Women will not continue to be second-class citizens in their own 
  The absence of the ERA has meant that women can be paid less for 
their work, violated with impunity, and discriminated against simply 
for being women.
  Women made up more than 6 in 10 seniors who lived in poverty last 
year, with the poverty rate for senior women at 11 percent.
  The average Social Security benefit for women 65 and older is about 
$14,270 per year, compared to about $18,375 for men 65 and older.
  In the 116th Congress, women hold just 23.6 percent of seats in the 
U.S. Congress.
  In 2019, just 33 Fortune 500 CEOs are women, a new record.
  While women-owned businesses account for 42 percent of all firms, 
women-owned business account for just 8 percent of the total private 
sector workforce and 4.3 percent of total revenue.
  Some legal scholars note the location of the deadline in the preamble 
is important, because the ERA's deadline was not part of the text that 
the states voted on when they ratified the amendment.
  Other scholars argue that the deadline itself is unconstitutional 
because Article V of the

[[Page H1134]]

Constitution does not include mention of deadlines.
  A close reading and clear understanding of the Constitution leads 
inescapably to the conclusion that when the Framers considered a time 
period to be of the essence, they specified the time period clearly in 
the document itself.
  Moreover, in Coleman v. Miller, 307 U.S. 433 (1939), the Supreme 
Court rejected the idea that Article V contains an implied limitation 
period for ratifications.
  Madam Speaker, as a country founded on principles of liberty, justice 
and equality, and a global leader in formulating international human 
rights standards, the United States need to pass the ERA to meet basic 
standards for women who are denied equal access to legal rights and 
  Too many women in the United States inexplicably lag behind 
international human rights standards and it is a myth that women in the 
United States already enjoy all of the expected standards of rights and 
protections afforded under America.
  The reality is, women in the United States experience continued 
discrimination and daunting disparities that prevent them from fully 
participating as equal members of society.
  For example, women have risen to some of the highest levels of 
legislative and executive representation over the years, yet with 20% 
of Congressional Members and an average of 24.9% of state legislatures, 
but the United States ranks #72 in the global market of women 
represented in public and political positions.
  While the number of women justices has significantly increased, women 
litigants' access to justice is severely limited.
  Although women vote in higher percentages than men, women's access to 
voting is under attack in many states where increased voter ID 
requirements and voter purges pose unprecedented barriers.
  Although women constitute nearly half of the US labor force, at a 
participation rate of 57%, equal economic opportunity is severely 
lacking given deficient or nonexistent mandatory standards for 
workplace accommodations for pregnant women, post-natal mothers and 
persons with care responsibilities.
  What also remains a shameful truth in America, is the gender wage gap 
which has remained at or near 21% over the past decade.
  And women with higher levels of education experience the largest 
earning gaps, as do minority women regardless of educational 
  The percentage of women in poverty has increased over the past 
decade, from 12.1% to 14.5%, with a higher rate of poverty than men and 
women are exposed to higher rates of homelessness and violence without 
adequate protections in place in shelters and housing support options.
  Women in detention facilities throughout the country also experience 
increasingly high rates of over-incarceration, sexual violence, 
shackling while pregnant, solitary confinement, lack of alternative 
custodial sentencing for women with dependent children, and 
insufficient access to health care and re-entry programs.
  Migrant women traveling to the U.S., many victims of trafficking and 
violence, including sexual violence, are kept in detention centers with 
children for prolonged periods of time.
  The U.N. has reported that women, particularly black and LBTQ women, 
in the U.S. experience police brutality and increased incidents of 
homicide by police.
  Even though women own over one-third of commercial businesses in the 
United States, primarily in small and medium sized businesses, these 
businesses face greater barriers in obtaining low cost capital from 
sources such as the SBA--which awards less than 5% of federal contracts 
to women-owned business.
  Finally, one of the most alarming deficiencies for women in America 
is the inability to access basic health care and the imposition of 
devastating barriers to reproductive health and rights.
  Too many women are suffering dire and deadly consequences.
  Between 1990 and 2013, the maternal mortality rate for women in the 
U.S. has increased by 136%.
  Black women are nearly 4 times more likely to die in childbirth, and 
states with high poverty rates have a 77% higher maternal mortality 
  The United States deserves to much better.
  It is unacceptable that women in America are facing a health care 
crisis so dire that the global community is denouncing it as a human 
rights violation.
  Sadly, the direction States are taking will only further dismantle 
women's access to affordable and trustworthy reproductive healthcare.
  While clinics are shutting down at drastic rates throughout the 
country, devastating restrictions and barriers imposed throughout Texas 
strike at the core of this abomination.
  A Texas statute known as HB2 (House Bill 2), was enacted several 
years ago under false claims to promote women's health, when in fact it 
only set in motion dangerous restrictions on women's access to 
reproductive health care.
  In addition to constant attacks on funding for reproductive health 
care clinics, abortion providers in Texas were forced to undergo 
impossible million-dollar renovations and upgrades.
  Denying hundreds of thousands of women health care services in Texas, 
nearly half of all reproductive health care clinics were forced to shut 
down, and now only 10 remain in the second largest state in the 
  No woman in America should be denied the dignity of being ability to 
make choices about her body and healthcare.
  Access to safe, legal and unhindered healthcare must be realized by 
all women.
  These simple facts can no longer be denied, and hypocrisy can no 
longer be tolerated.
  A woman's personal autonomy over her own body and her right to choose 
whether to bear or beget a child is a constitutionally protected 
fundamental right.
  More than 40 years ago in the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade, 410 
U.S. 113, (1973), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that the right to 
privacy under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment extends to a 
woman's decision to have an abortion.
  We cannot ignore the obvious hypocrisy of imbalanced protection and 
access to fundamentally protected rights for women in America when it 
is easier to purchase and lawfully possess a firearm--even for a person 
on the terrorist watchlist--than it is for a woman to exercise her 
constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.
  Madam Speaker, this is not fair, and it is not right.
  And with the ERA added to the Constitution, it will also not be 
  Madam Speaker, Congress had the authority to extend the deadline and 
it chose to do in 1979; a fortiori, it has the power to eliminate the 
deadline today.
  And that is the right, just, and moral thing to do.
  I urge all Members to stand on the right side of history and join me 
in voting to pass H.J. Res. 79 so that the Equal Rights Amendment can 
take its rightful place as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution of 
the United States.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Granger).
  Ms. GRANGER. Madam Speaker, we have heard my Democratic colleagues 
say that passing the equal rights amendment is necessary to secure 
basic rights under the law for women. Not only is this untrue, it 
obscures a fundamental fact. This ERA actually denies the most basic 
human right: the right to life. This ERA uses gender equality as a 
smokescreen to create an unlimited constitutional right to abortion.
  Instead of working to craft legislation that protects women's rights 
without trampling on the right to life, Democrats have put forward, 
today, an unconstitutional, partisan measure.
  Not only would this result in on-demand abortions across all 50 
States, but it would also clear the way to provide taxpayer-funded 
abortions throughout all 9 months of pregnancy, costing millions of 
dollars every year.
  This measure is not about advancing women's rights, especially as 
women across the country, Republicans and Democrats alike, are 
increasingly horrified by the practice of late-term abortion and by 
recent comments made in New York and Virginia that lifesaving treatment 
should be denied to some newborns.
  Allowing women to discard their unborn children at taxpayer expense 
is not ensuring gender equality. It is not protecting women. It is not 
empowering women. It is not providing women equal pay for equal work. 
It is simply another step down the path of devaluing all human life and 
  Madam Speaker, I oppose this amendment and urge my colleagues to vote 
``no'' on this measure.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Garcia).
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Madam Speaker, I thank Chairman Nadler for 
  In Texas, many years ago, I marched in support of the equal rights 
amendment. Today, I join my colleagues to reaffirm that support.
  Women are behind some of this Nation's greatest achievements. We 
fought for civil rights, set athletic records, sent men to space, and 
then went there ourselves. We have forged

[[Page H1135]]

our paths in history, yet we are still not equal to men under the eyes 
of the law.
  We must remove this stain from our Constitution. Today, we are voting 
to remove an arbitrary deadline so we can finally prohibit gender 
discrimination under the Constitution.
  Madam Speaker, I will proudly vote in favor of the resolution, and I 
urge all my colleagues to do the same.
  As many in my district would say, ``It is time to approve the ERA.'' 
``Ya es hora de aprobar el ERA.''
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from West Virginia (Mrs. Miller).
  Mrs. MILLER. Madam Speaker, I rise today to oppose H.J. Res. 79.
  It pains me to say that life is under attack in our Nation. The pro-
abortion discussions taking place around this country are sickening. In 
the last year, we heard a Governor promote infanticide, and we saw 
State legislatures take action for the same.
  We still haven't had a vote on this floor in the United States House 
of Representatives to protect babies who survive abortion. Yesterday, 
in committee, I even introduced legislation that would protect babies 
who survive abortion. It failed along party lines once again.
  We have millions of American families who would love to adopt, yet we 
don't discuss that. I know women who have cried every month when they 
realized that they had not conceived the baby they so desperately 
wanted. I know men and women who have undergone multiple tests and 
procedures just to conceive a child. They would gladly adopt a baby 
that someone else didn't want.
  Instead, today, we are voting once more on another piece of 
legislation that would drastically reduce protections for life. This 
bill would create the basis for taxpayer-funded abortion at the Federal 
level, and it would permanently allow abortion until birth for any 
reason throughout the Nation. It would force government-funded 
healthcare providers and hospitals to provide abortions.
  We cannot have that. We cannot bring abortion into a healthcare 
debate because it is not healthcare. Abortion is murder.
  If we want to discuss protecting rights for all Americans, it needs 
to pertain to everyone, including and, especially, newborns.
  While I always welcome a conversation with my colleagues about how we 
can advance women's rights and the rights of all people, this is not 
the way to do it. It is not through thinly veiled messaging bills with 
nice names but radical policies.
  We can pass good pro-woman, pro-family, pro-American legislation 
through bipartisan solutions.
  So if we are going to do it, let's do it; but today, sadly, we won't, 
and that is so disappointing.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Neguse).
  Mr. NEGUSE. Madam Speaker, I thank the chairman for his leadership.
  I rise today in strong support of the equal rights amendment and the 
resolution before us.
  Today, this body comes together unabashed in our conviction for a 
future that expands the vision set forth by our Founders. Together, we 
strive for a nation that advances the notion of equality, that takes up 
the mantle of the unfinished work that is the American Dream and the 
practice of government by and for the people--for all the people.
  My daughter, Natalie, is just over a year-and-a-half old, and I look 
forward to telling her one day about today, how the people's House, led 
by the Chamber's first female Speaker, voted to ensure that the women 
of her generation will be the first to grow up knowing that the 
Constitution truly guarantees equal rights.
  It feels fitting to close by quoting Shirley Chisolm, the first Black 
female Member elected to this body and the youngest, until my good 
friend Lauren Underwood took office last year, who said, when Congress 
sent the ERA to the States for ratification: ``The time is clearly now 
to put this House on record for the fullest expression of that equality 
of opportunity which our Founding Fathers professed. . . . It is not 
too late to complete the work they left undone.''

  I support the resolution.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the 
gentlewoman from North Carolina (Ms. Foxx).
  Ms. FOXX of North Carolina. Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague from 
Georgia for yielding time.
  Madam Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to H.J. Res. 79.
  As a woman who has worked all her life, often in male-dominated 
professions, I detest discrimination in any form against any group, and 
I have always done all that I can to eliminate it. Furthermore, I 
welcome any discussion on how to root out discrimination against women 
where it exists.
  But do not be deceived. This is not what this legislation is about.
  The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution already provides women 
and all Americans equal protection under the law, but the goal of this 
legislation is different. The goal here is to expand access to abortion 
up to birth and to overturn the broadly supported policies that protect 
taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortions.

                              {time}  1000

  As we know all too well, Roe v. Wade has broadly legalized abortion 
in the United States, but the equal rights amendment that this 
resolution tries to ratify goes much further.
  There is a broad consensus that the ERA could be used to overturn 
pro-life laws, legalize abortion up to birth, and mandate taxpayer-
funded abortions.
  The expansion of abortion is not the only harmful impact of the ERA. 
It would have a harmful impact on shelters that protect women from 
violence, eliminate women-specific workplace protections, and destroy 
women's sports.
  Furthermore, were this resolution ever to become law, the Supreme 
Court would undoubtedly rule that it does not ratify the equal rights 
  As everyone in this room knows, when Congress initially passed the 
equal rights amendment, it intentionally included a 7-year deadline for 
the required 38 States to ratify, a deadline which has long since 
passed. Multiple States have also rescinded their ratification.
  As such, Supreme Court precedent requires that any attempt to ratify 
the ERA must start at the beginning. Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 
was recently quoted saying she would like the process to start over.
  To be perfectly clear, with this resolution, the Democrats are 
attempting to write into the Constitution the right to an abortion at 
all three trimesters, force taxpayers to pay for them, and eliminate 
all conscience protections for medical providers who wish to abstain 
from abortion.
  This resolution is not about protecting women. It is a partisan 
messaging bill designed to appease radical pro-abortion groups. If the 
majority were serious about the equal rights amendment, it would start 
the process anew and give all States the option to consider the ERA 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I would remind everyone that the equal 
rights amendment simply says: Equality of rights under the law shall 
not be denied on account of sex.
  If people on the other side want to admit that equality of rights 
under the law means there must be a constitutional right to abortion, 
well, that is wonderful. Of course, the constitutional right to 
abortion is already established under current law.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from Washington 
(Ms. Jayapal).
  Ms. JAYAPAL. Madam Speaker, what a glorious day this is.
  Today, the House of Representatives will vote to remove the arbitrary 
deadline to ratify the equal rights amendment. With our vote today, and 
with Virginia's historic vote to become the 38th and final State 
necessary to ratify the amendment, little girls, their moms, and women 
across this great Nation will know that, yes, our Constitution can, 
will, and must enshrine a ban on discrimination on the basis of sex.
  Equality of sexes is not debatable. It has no expiration date.
  First proposed almost a century ago and passed by Congress in 1972, 
the equal rights amendment would be a momentous step forward for women 

[[Page H1136]]

end unequal pay, pregnancy discrimination, and sexual harassment and 
  So today, to women across this country who are watching, as the first 
South Asian woman ever elected to the House of Representatives, let me 
say: We see you. We stand with you. And we will fight for you.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Georgia (Mrs. McBath).
  Mrs. McBATH. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, women have been fighting tooth and nail for decades to 
be recognized as equal under the eyes of the law. While we made 
significant gains, it is time for a full constitutional equality.
  In 1866, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a free-born Black woman, 
addressed the National Women's Rights Convention in New York City, and 
she said: ``Justice is not fulfilled so long as woman is unequal before 
the law. We are all bound up together in one great bundle of humanity. 
. . . Society cannot afford to neglect the enlightenment of any class 
of its members.''
  These words still hold true today for our mothers, for our daughters, 
and for our future leaders. We must take up the mantle of the women who 
came before us and pass this amendment for a more just future.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Pelosi), the distinguished Speaker of the House.
  Ms. PELOSI. Madam Speaker, I am so pleased that the gentlewoman from 
Virginia is in the Chair and grateful to her for her leadership and our 
other colleagues, Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger, as new Members 
of Congress who give us the opportunity as the majority to bring this 
important legislation to the floor. I thank them for Virginia's 
leadership in all of this. It is so appropriate that the Congresswoman 
is in the Chair for this because she was a leader in the State 
legislature on the equal rights amendment when she served there.
  This is a historic day, a happy day, as the House takes action to 
move our Nation closer to our founding ideal that all are created 
equal. I salute Congresswoman Jackie Speier for her leadership on this 
resolution and for her lifetime of work to advance equality in America.
  The gentlewoman quoted the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 
and I think it bears repetition. Justice Scalia said: ``Certainly the 
Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The 
only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn't.''
  It does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. The lack of 
an ERA has allowed the Supreme Court Justice to have this 
  Here it is, we say it over and over again: Equality of rights under 
the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any 
State on account of sex.'' How can you have a problem with that?

  Let me also salute Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, our longtime lead 
sponsor of the equal rights amendment in the House, for her great 
leadership, and Chairman Nadler, the members of the Judiciary 
Committee, and all the Members who came to Congress committed to 
finishing this fight for the equal rights amendment.
  I also want to acknowledge that yesterday, at our press presentation 
on this, in the audience was a Republican from Illinois who was 
responsible for Illinois passing the equal rights amendment, Steven 
Andersson. He was with us at the Capitol. We commend him for being a 
leader on the ERA, passing it through the Illinois statehouse.
  What an honor and how clear that this is not partisan, perhaps only 
in the House of Representatives, but not in the rest of the country.
  Let us acknowledge the millions of women in Nevada, Illinois, 
Virginia, and across America who have raised a drumbeat for 
ratification and reignited a nationwide movement for equality.
  Nearly 100 years ago, Alice Paul, a Republican, introduced the equal 
rights amendment, the first proposed amendment to the Constitution 
calling for women's equality in America.
  Fifty years ago, soon after becoming the first African American woman 
to serve in the Congress, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm stood on this 
House floor to urge passage of the ERA, calling it ``one of the most 
clear-cut opportunities we are likely to have to declare our faith in 
the principles that shaped our Constitution.''
  But today, in this year that marks the centennial of women having the 
right to vote, it is a shameful reality that the equal rights amendment 
still has not been enshrined in the Constitution. As a result, millions 
of American women still face inequality under the law and injustice in 
their careers and lives.
  Without full equality under the Constitution, women face a 
devastating wage gap, and this has an impact not only on what families 
earn today but on women's pensions and retirement in the future. This 
is wrong.
  Women face discrimination as they raise families. Sixty-two percent 
of pregnant women and new moms are in the workforce, but current law 
allows pregnant workers to be placed on unpaid leave or forced out of 
their jobs. And sexual harassment and assault too often go unchecked, 
all leading to women's underrepresentation at the decisionmaking table.
  We know what the statistics are--what was it?--33 CEOs of the Fortune 
500 companies are women. Really?
  Today, by passing this resolution, the House is paving the way to 
enshrining the equal rights amendment in the Constitution. It will 
achieve justice for women and achieve progress for families and for our 
children, lowering wage disparity and increasing paychecks so moms can 
pay for their family's needs, such as rent, groceries, childcare, and 
  We are able to strengthen America. It is not just about women. It is 
about America.
  The ERA will strengthen America, unleashing the full power of women 
in our economy and upholding the value of equality in our democracy.
  I have four daughters, one son, two granddaughters, and I can't even 
imagine how anyone could think of his or her daughter not having 
equality; his or her sister, mom, wife, not having equality. What is 
that about, that women should not have the same status of equality as 
  This has nothing to do with the abortion issue. That is an excuse. 
That is not a reason. It has everything to do with a respect for women: 
your daughter, your sister, your wife, your mother. And you are saying, 
by voting against this, that your daughter, your sister, your mother, 
your spouse should not have equal protection under the law in the 
Constitution of the United States.
  To those who say that the ERA is not necessary, let me quote from a 
recent statement from the American Association of University Women. It 
states that many ``Americans mistakenly believe that the U.S. 
Constitution explicitly guarantees equality between men and women.'' 
Perhaps you think that. ``The equal rights amendment would, once and 
for all, guarantee constitutional equality between men and women. Its 
ratification would provide the constitutional guarantee that all men 
and women are truly equal under the law.''
  I urge a strong bipartisan vote for this resolution. It will be 
bipartisan in the United States Senate when we send it over there 
shortly, to ensure that women are truly equal under the law in America. 
Because we know in America, when women succeed, America succeeds.
  Madam Speaker, I urge a ``yes'' vote.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, how much time is remaining for 
both sides?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Georgia has 11 minutes 
remaining. The gentleman from New York has 15 minutes remaining.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Pennsylvania (Ms. Dean).
  Ms. DEAN. Madam Speaker, I thank Chairman Nadler for bringing this 
resolution to a vote and thank Representative Speier and Representative 
Maloney for their work on this legislation.
  This is a historic day. It has been nearly a century since the first 
constitutional amendment to guarantee

[[Page H1137]]

equal treatment for women was introduced in 1923. Since then, 37 States 
have ratified the equal rights amendment, including my home State of 
Pennsylvania in 1972.
  Virginia's ratification of the ERA this past January brought us one 
step closer to this basic right that we will be held equal in the eyes 
of the Constitution. The motto of Susan B. Anthony's newspaper was: 
``Men their rights and nothing more; women their rights and nothing 
less.'' Today, we again say women will accept nothing less than 
  ERA builds on the work of Anthony and others like Jeannette Rankin, 
Alice Paul, Ida B. Wells, and this diverse Congress.
  I am filled with joy today because I am looking forward to going home 
and telling my granddaughters, Aubrey and Ella, that we are one step 
closer to a more perfect Union.

                              {time}  1015

  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
New York (Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney).
  Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Madam Speaker, I thank Chairman 
Nadler and Jackie Speier for their historic leadership on the equal 
rights amendment.
  Madam Speaker, first introduced in 1923, the equal rights amendment 
is still as relevant and necessary as ever because we know that 
equality for women will always elude us when it isn't etched into our 
  We have seen it when the Supreme Court gutted the Violence Against 
Women Act; we have seen it when judges don't enforce equal pay for 
equal work or when a Federal judge ruled that Congress didn't have the 
authority to outlaw female genital mutilation. But if your rights are 
in the Constitution, then they can't be rolled back by the changing 
whims of legislators, judges, or Presidents.
  Women are long past due equal treatment under the law, and we will 
persist until it is firmly guaranteed. There is no deadline for 
equality. We demand our equality be spelled out in the Constitution, 
and we spell it E-R-A.
  Madam Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle 
to support this important vote for equality.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. I reserve the balance of my time, Madam 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Michigan (Mrs. Lawrence).
  Mrs. LAWRENCE. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.J. Res. 79, 
which removes the deadline for the ratification of the equal rights 
amendment. A woman's rights must be guaranteed by our government.
  This bill is about the Members of Congress ensuring that the rights 
and equality for women are a part of our Constitution.
  It is sad to watch those who lose their way because they will find 
any way to distract from the issue of equality. The Members on the 
other side are trying to interject abortion into this, but I want to 
say that even though we have come so far as women--there are a record 
number of women lawmakers here in this House--we have so far to go, and 
this corrects that injustice and recognizes equality for women under 
the law.
  As the great Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman in 
Congress, stated: ``The time is clearly now to put this House on record 
for the fullest expression of that equality of opportunity which our 
Founding Fathers professed. They professed it, but they did not assure 
it to their daughters, as they tried to do for their sons.''
  The time is clearly now to put this House on record for the fullest 
expression of that equality of opportunity which our Founding Fathers 
possessed. They possessed it, but they did not assure it. We try as 
they tried to do for their sons.
  Madam Speaker, I encourage support of this bill.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Virginia (Ms. Wexton).
  Ms. WEXTON. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I 
thank Congresswoman Speier for introducing this important resolution.
  In 1923 Alice Paul introduced the equal rights amendment to include 
women in our Nation's founding documents. Nearly 100 years later, 
during my time in the Virginia State Senate, I sponsored the resolution 
for Virginia to ratify the ERA. But it wouldn't be until January 27, 
2020, with the historic number of women lawmakers serving in the State 
legislature that the great Commonwealth of Virginia became the 38th and 
final State to ratify the equal rights amendment.
  This was not simply a symbolic vote. Specifically affirming equality 
on the basis of sex in the Constitution will strengthen State and 
Federal laws that protect women. We need the equal rights amendment to 
ensure that equal justice under law is a constitutional right for women 
and not just an inscription over the entrance to the Supreme Court.
  Finally, these words will ring true: ``Equality of rights under the 
law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State 
on account of sex.''
  Today, I am proud to cast my vote in support of the ERA and in 
recognition of the tireless work of so many trailblazers and activists 
over the years, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Underwood).
  Ms. UNDERWOOD. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.J. 
Res. 79, a bipartisan bill that moves us closer to adopting the equal 
rights amendment.
  Madam Speaker, American women are barrier breakers. We have broken 
down barriers and shattered glass ceilings in education, at work, in 
the law, in the military, and at home. We are in a new era where women 
are leading in ways that they never have before, but legal gender 
discrimination, pay disparities, and inequality remain. They will not 
go away on their own. That is why we need to ensure that women's rights 
are guaranteed by adopting the equal rights amendment.
  I was so proud in 2018 when Illinois ratified the equal rights 
amendment at long last. Two years later, I am here on the House floor 
because the women of northern Illinois sent me here to fight for them. 
I am here to fight for our right as women to equal treatment under the 
Constitution of our great country.
  Madam Speaker, I urge all my colleagues to move us one giant step 
closer to legal equality by supporting this essential bill.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Oregon (Ms. Bonamici).
  Ms. BONAMICI. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of this 
resolution to remove the arbitrary deadline to ratify the equal rights 
amendment. This year is the centennial of the 19th Amendment, yet women 
are still fighting for full and equal rights under the law.

  Women continue to face many barriers to true equality, including 
pregnancy and gender discrimination, unequal pay, and a lack of access 
to a full range of reproductive healthcare services. The equal rights 
amendment to the Constitution would provide for fundamental equality 
for women regardless of who is President, who is on the Supreme Court, 
or changes in Federal law.
  Congress first approved the equal rights amendment in 1972, and my 
home State of Oregon was quick to ratify it the following year. Now, 38 
States--the required three-fourths under the Constitution--have 
ratified the amendment. Today Congress will stand with our States and 
make it clear that it is time--actually way past time--to adopt the 
equal rights amendment. It is not too late to do the right thing. It is 
not too late for equality.
  Madam Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support this 

[[Page H1138]]


  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from the State of Virginia (Mr. Beyer), who is from the 38th 
  Mr. BEYER. Madam Speaker, it has been 97 years since the equal rights 
amendment was introduced in the 68th Congress and 48 years since the 
ERA passed the House and Senate.
  In those 48 years, I have had three daughters and one granddaughter. 
Those four young women are brilliant, precocious, and accomplished, 
with strong character, great morality, and true nobility. These women 
are every bit the equal of any man I have ever met, yet our 
Constitution does not recognize their equality nor prohibit 
discrimination against them.
  I am very proud that the Commonwealth of Virginia was the 38th State 
to ratify the ERA. We must permanently remove the deadline for State 
ratification and provide an essential legal remedy against gender 
  Does this sound like a political stunt: ``Women shall have equal 
rights in the United States and every place subject to its 
jurisdiction. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or 
abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.''
  No. These words belong in the United States Constitution. There is 
nothing partisan about recognizing men and women have equal rights 
under the law.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this resolution.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. I reserve the balance of my time, Madam 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. Schakowsky).
  Ms. SCHAKOWSKY. Madam Speaker, every single constitution in the whole 
world written since 1959, including Afghanistan, for example, has the 
equivalent of the equal rights amendment, but the United States of 
America does not.
  Though my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and President 
Trump's Department of Justice may tell you otherwise, we need the equal 
rights amendment, and we need it now.
  The requisite number of States have now voted to ratify the equal 
rights amendment. Last year my home State of Illinois was the 37th 
State to ratify, and this year Virginia brought us to that number of 
  Today I will proudly vote ``yes'' to show my grandchildren--my 
granddaughters and my grandsons--that women are not only strong, 
powerful, and resilient, but also equal citizens under the law.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to stand with us.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. I reserve the balance of my time, Madam 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Matsui).
  Ms. MATSUI. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.J. Res. 79 and 
stand shoulder to shoulder with women to demand gender equality and 
  When I think about the future of our country and what I want it to 
look like for young women and girls like my granddaughter, Anna, I 
envision a just and equitable society with fair play, diverse 
leadership, and equal access to basic healthcare rights. That is why 
the equal rights amendment is necessary.
  For too long our country's structural barriers have cast a shadow 
over women's rights. With 38 States having affirmed their support for 
the ERA, we are one step closer to shattering those barriers.
  This resolution negates misguided arguments that because it is an 
arbitrary deadline, the equal rights amendment is effectively dead. It 
is clear from the recent actions of Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia, and 
our collective voices, it is still very much alive, and we will not 
rest until it is ingrained in the most sacred document of our Nation's 
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to stand with our country's women 
and support our right to constitutional equality.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. I reserve the balance of my time, Madam 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California (Mrs. Davis).
  Mrs. DAVIS of California. Madam Speaker, 244 years ago women were 
left out of our Constitution by the men who drafted it. But since then, 
generations of women and men have blazed a steady trail towards 
equality in this country; but we still do not have constitutional 
  I attended many ERA events representing the League of Women Voters in 
the 1970s, and if someone would have told me then that we would still 
be fighting for this in 2020, I would have said that it was a failure 
of justice.
  Why is anyone against rights for everyone?
  Madam Speaker, equal rights for women transcend your politics, they 
transcend your age, where you are from, and your gender.

  Women in this country continue to receive unequal pay, suffer from 
harassment in the workplace, endure discrimination for pregnancies, and 
fight long legal battles over domestic violence cases. A correction of 
our Constitution is clearly long overdue.
  Liberty and justice for all must apply equally to women and men in 
this country. Let's pass this resolution.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. I reserve the balance of my time, Madam 
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker. I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from New York (Ms. Velazquez).
  Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Madam Speaker, 28 days ago on Martin Luther King, 
Jr.'s birthday, Virginia became the 38th State to ratify the ERA. After 
decades of struggle, 48 years after congressional passage, two-thirds 
of the States agreed to an amendment that secures equal rights for all 
American citizens regardless of sex. This amendment would touch every 
corner of our lives.
  With 24 words our Nation will finally fully recognize women as equal 
participants in society.
  To my colleagues opposing the ERA: What are you afraid of?
  How can you oppose this resolution and then look women in your 
district, in your churches, and in your own homes in the eye?
  Today is your chance to stand on the right side of her story. I 
implore my colleagues, vote ``yes'' on H.J. Res. 79. Let us finish this 
struggle and at long last have women and men finally equal under the 
law with their rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

                              {time}  1030

  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 45 seconds to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Judy Chu).
  Ms. JUDY CHU of California. Madam Speaker, since women gained the 
right to vote 100 years ago, we have made incredible progress--rolling 
back laws like those that kept us from serving on juries, owning land, 
or even getting our own credit card--and this Congress has more women 
than ever.
  But true equality is still a goal, not a reality. The fact is women 
are still paid less than men for the same work, and we still have men 
passing laws that dictate our choices about our bodies.
  It is clear, if we want equality, we need the ERA, and the people 
agree. We saw that at women's marches across the country and in the 
groundswell of the #MeToo movement.
  That energy is leading to change. The people are speaking. It is up 
to us to listen. Arbitrary deadlines are no reason to silence our 
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' and give women 
the same rights as men.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 45 seconds to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Lee).
  Ms. LEE of California. Madam Speaker, I thank the chairman for 
  Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support today of Congresswoman 
Speier's bill, H.J. Res. 79. I thank Congresswoman Speier and 
Congresswoman Maloney for their consistent leadership as warrior women.
  The ERA would guarantee rights to all and would finally affirm 
women's equality in our Constitution by removing this arbitrary 
  We know that, too often, women have been relegated to the sidelines 
and left

[[Page H1139]]

out of the Constitution, especially Black women and women of color. For 
example, there is still rampant gender wage discrimination.
  Discrimination against women must end. That is why the ERA is so 
important. It would make sure that our government would ensure that 
women are treated equally, a right that needs to be clearly outlined in 
every aspect of our country.
  I want my granddaughters, Jordan, Simone, and Giselle, to know that 
they are equal to men, that their rights are enshrined in the 
Constitution. They, like every girl and woman, deserve equality in 
their country. They should know that their country, the United States 
of America, has finally joined the rest of the world to stand up for 
their rights as American women.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 45 seconds to the distinguished 
gentleman from Hawaii (Mr. Case).
  Mr. CASE. Madam Speaker, I rise in very strong support of this 
resolution to advance the cause of full and equal rights for all women. 
I do so for my 1-year-old granddaughter for whom I deeply hope that, 
when she reaches the age of understanding, the ERA will be as enshrined 
in our Constitution as is the right to vote today. I also do so as a 
proud citizen of my Hawaii.
  On March 22, 1972, when the U.S. Senate sent the ERA to the States, 
it was early in the morning in Hawaii; but by shortly after noon that 
same day, our legislature voted for ratification, the first State to do 
  For my country and Hawaii and for all of our women leaders who led 
this fight, past and present, I proudly join my colleagues in voting 
for the ERA.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 45 seconds to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Wasserman Schultz).
  Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Madam Speaker, after nearly a century, the 
equal rights amendment is on the cusp of ratification.
  At America's founding, women were intentionally left out of the 
Constitution. As second-class citizens, we lacked the right to vote, 
hold most jobs, or even own property. Today, we still receive less pay 
for the same work, and we face violence and harassment just for being 
women. But the ERA will prohibit all of that. In the eyes of our most 
sacred document, we will finally be equal.
  Women's rights should not depend on congressional whims or who 
occupies the White House. These basic fundamental rights must be 
  But, if we want to hand a more perfect union to our daughters--and I 
have two of them--we must seize this moment to end sex discrimination. 
We owe it to the women who sacrificed before us and all of our 
daughters and sons who deserve a life of true equality.
  So I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this resolution to remove 
the arbitrary and outdated deadline for ratifying the ERA.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, may I inquire how much time I have 
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. Blunt Rochester). The gentleman from New 
York has 1 minute remaining.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COLLINS. Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from Wisconsin 
for a parliamentary inquiry.

                         Parliamentary Inquiry

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, parliamentary inquiry.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Wisconsin will state his 
parliamentary inquiry.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, it is my intention to raise a point 
of order that this resolution requires a two-thirds vote. I will argue 
the point of order when it is made, but I need to know when the proper 
time is to raise the point of order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The proper time would be when the Chair puts 
the question on passage.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, do I put the question before or 
after it is passed?
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. At the time the Chair puts the question on 
  Mr. COLLINS. Madam Speaker, I am prepared to close, and I yield 
myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, it has been interesting, the discussion on the floor 
today. It has been interesting on both sides to hear the different 
aspects of why this bill is on the floor, why we are doing it, why we 
shouldn't be doing it, and many things. It has been interesting, the 
discussion, if you go from a strictly number-of-States category.
  What has been interesting is my colleagues across the aisle have 
talked about that there are now 38 States, but they fail to mention 5 
States that rescinded their votes. Five States would put you under 38.
  What was interesting to me in the Rules Committee the other night, 
the argument was that, if they rescind it, it is not valid to rescind, 
yet you can add States after the time limit is up. That is an 
interesting argument to make if you are actually looking at it from the 
perspective of if they rescind it within the timeframe yet passed it 
after the timeframe, that that is okay.
  Then I heard one of my colleagues actually mentioned the fact that, 
if we passed it in here today, that this would now become part of the 
process, along with the State of Virginia ratifying it, it is now part 
of our Constitution.
  I am sure this was just a euphoric discussion about how this would 
actually go about, but they were also forgetting the Senate is involved 
in this. It is amazing.
  I was really worried at one point in the discussion that it was said 
on multiple occasions that there was no protection in the Constitution 
for women. I was almost scared for a moment that the 14th Amendment had 
been repealed and I didn't know it.
  It is in there and still is in there. I checked just a few minutes 
ago. It is safe.
  It is interesting to determine, when Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one of the 
foremost architects in looking at this bill even in the 1970s, coming 
forward, has said: If you want to do this, start over. Do it the proper 
  As my chairman has said earlier, basically, a deadline should not get 
in the way of what we want. A deadline should not get in the way of 
what I want to have happen. That is becoming more and more of a concern 
in this body, that the rules and parliamentary procedures don't matter 
if it interferes with what we want.
  But, at the end of the day, the question really becomes: Why are we 
doing this? Why are we bringing this forth when there is absolutely no 
legal precedent, no constitutional precedent, no anything out there--
including some of the founders who actually started this whole process 
40-plus years ago, who said this is not the way you do it.
  The reason I know that that is a concern is because some of those who 
have actually said this have been criticized in the media from the 
perspective of supporters of the ERA to say Ruth Bader Ginsburg's 
comments have now killed the ERA, or effectively done it. The reason is 
because she is speaking the truth about this issue.
  We disagree on most everything from a legal perspective, but on this 
one, we happen to agree, and she has laid forth clearly what should 
happen here.
  But let me also say--and it has been talked about a great deal, so I 
think we just need to come to the real scenario why this is happening. 
It is not that we believe it will actually happen. For anybody here who 
believes that today is actually going to put it in part of the 
Constitution, that is not going to happen.
  So what is it? It is a political nod to the understanding of those 
who are speaking for this.
  As we have heard earlier, NARAL Pro-Choice America:

       With its ratification, the ERA would reinforce the 
     constitutional right to abortion by clarifying that the sexes 
     have equal rights, which would require judges to strike down 
     anti-abortion laws.

  Also, NARAL:

       The ERA will support protecting women's right to abortion. 
     With five anti-choice Justices on the Supreme Court and Roe 
     v. Wade on the chopping block, it is more important than ever 
     we codify women's bodily autonomy in our lives.

  Codirector of Reproaction:

       Abortion restrictions amount to sex discrimination because 
     they single out people for unfair treatment on the basis of 

  The senior counsel of National Women's Law Center:

       The ERA would help create a basis for challenging abortion 

  This is what this is actually about. This is what the basis has 
needed because there has been a shifting in this

[[Page H1140]]

country to understand that, in our opinion--in the opinion of many--
abortion is simply murder in the womb. It is not about life.
  It is interesting, we are talking about the rights of women today--
which, again, this bill doesn't have anything to do with--but we are 
not concerned if the young women in the womb are even able to have a 
birthday. That is not a concern.
  So what would happen from these folks who are supporting your 
resolution today? Why do they want it? Because it gives a claim, from 
start to finish, unfettered abortion.
  So what does that mean? That means let's bring back partial-birth 
abortion, which, if I have to remind anybody here, means the delivery 
of the child all the way until the moment the chin comes almost out, 
and then actually crushing their skull. That is what that is.
  If that is a right we are protecting, I don't want any part of it, 
and neither do most Americans. They don't want a part of it. But that 
is one of those restrictions that will be laid back.
  It would also continue to allow unlimited abortions in any State for 
any reason, including sex selection.
  It is interesting that we would talk about this today, the ERA, and 
use this, yet a family could choose to abort a child because it is a 
male or a female. Let's be honest about this.
  But the bottom line for me, what really bothers me the most about 
when it is unlimited, unfettered access to abortion that this bill 
opens up, if it were to have passed, is one that hits close to home for 
  You see, a European country recently stated that a geneticist in 
Iceland said: We have almost basically eradicated Down syndrome people.
  I thought to myself, for a second: That would be great. I mean, if we 
could actually remove Down syndrome and help those and cure that, that 
would be an amazing medical discovery for all people. Except there is 
one portion.
  Do you know how they have done it? Through genetic testing and 
killing the children in the womb. They don't even let them have a 
  One Icelandic counselor counsels mothers as follows:
  This is your life. You have the right to choose how your life will 
look. She said: We don't look at abortion as murder. We look at it as a 
thing that we ended.
  Do you want to know why this has opened up, America? This is why.
  And for those of us like myself who have a disabled child, I do not 
want to hear that we are protecting disabled rights and other rights 
when we are not even allowing them to be born in certain arenas.
  Every day, I get a text on this phone. It is from my daughter. Jordan 
is 27 years old. She has spina bifida. She cannot walk and has never 
taken a step, and I believe it probably, given the medical condition, 
will not happen this side of Heaven. But she rolls and she smiles. She 
goes to work 3 days a week. She gets herself up early to put her 
clothes on and take her shower and get a bus that she calls, and she 
goes to work.
  The folks in Sweden, do you know what they want to do? Kill her. 
Because she is not as valuable, as a Down syndrome child is not as 
  Do you want to open this Pandora's box of no abortion restrictions? 
Then own what you are doing.
  But when Jordan texts me, she texts me: Good morning, Daddy. I love 
you. How was your day?
  Madam Speaker, when we found out 27 years ago--a week ago, 27 years 
ago--that Jordan was going to have spina bifida, we were a young couple 
just happy that God gave us a child, and to find out that she had a 
disability only kept our hearts more in tune to what God had given.
  My wife went to school the next week, and she was telling the teacher 
about what was going on. She said: We are trying to figure out where we 
need to go to have Jordan, help when she is born and get some more 
medical attention.
  This person looked at her and said: You know you have choices, 
  And my wife said: Well, yes. There is Northside Hospital and others.
  She said: No. Oh, no, dear. You don't have to go through with this. 
That is your choice.

                              {time}  1045

  In other words, as my wife looked at her and said: ``You're talking 
about my baby.''
  You see, when we go down this path, don't flower this bill up. Look 
at the ones who actually talk about it and say this is an open door to 
abortion on demand, with no restrictions, no government interference--
in fact, government pays for it.
  But before you do that, America, as we look around, I want you to 
think of the picture on the new Gerber baby ad of the young person with 
Down syndrome, who is now the face of Gerber baby food. If he was in 
Iceland, he would have been one of those that, as it said: Oh, we 
  Think about my daughter, who, when we allow it out there for people 
who are struggling--and to get news that you have a child with a 
disability, that is one of the most amazingly devastating things that 
you can hear because you don't know what the future holds.
  But what you do know is life is a gift from God, and that it is my 
joy to take care of her. We had 30 major surgeries before she was 5 
years old, three of which were 9 hours in length. Tell me her life 
doesn't matter.
  For someone who doesn't have the possibility of understanding, and 
they are given a choice because they have a disability, and somebody 
tells them and gets to them and says: Don't worry. Disabilities are 
bad. Just go ahead and end that life, and go on with your life.
  This is what this opens up.
  So don't give me a bill that is going nowhere for the reasons that 
have been given. The true reasons are found in your own supporters. The 
true reasons are found in what we know to be true.
  When you understand what this is about, then I will stand till I have 
no more breath in my body for the rights of those who can't speak for 
  It is amazing to me that it was said: What would I be saying to my 
daughter if I voted against this?
  I would be saying to Jordan, as I will: Jordan, the 14th Amendment is 
still there. Protections in law are still there. And by the way, 
restrictions on abortion will not be done away with, and your life 
  So if you want a picture of this, picture Jordan.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Once again, if Congress can enact a resolution putting a time limit, 
it can enact a resolution removing a time limit. And when the Senate 
passes this resolution, the ERA will be part of the Constitution.
  Madam Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from Michigan (Ms. Tlaib).
  Ms. TLAIB. Madam Speaker, I rise very proudly, the first Muslim woman 
ever elected in the Congress, in support of H.J. Res. 79.
  Madam Speaker, what is even more interesting is what I have been 
hearing about this obsession to control and oppress women in the United 
States of America. I cannot believe it is 2020, and we are still 
debating the merits of the equal rights amendment. It is beyond time.
  I want you all to know this is about women of color, women with 
disabilities, transgender women, immigrant women. These women are 
affected by issues like unequal pay, sexual violence, lack of access 
for healthcare, and poverty.
  So much of what we are doing here, in trying to promote women's 
equality, is about gender, racial, and economic justice.
  Madam Speaker, know this: A ``no'' vote today is condoning oppression 
of women in the United States of America. I urge support.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of equality 
and the principle that our Constitution was designed, not to shore up 
the dominance of the historically powerful, but to ensure the rights of 
all and to foster a society in which each of us is free to shape our 
future based on our abilities. The resolution today removes the 
deadline Congress put in place for the ratification of the Equal Rights 
Amendment. While ratification of

[[Page H1141]]

the Equal Rights Amendment is imperative to enshrine equal rights for 
women, I do not believe it is necessary to strike the deadline for 
ratification. By voting on this legislation we may imply that it is 
necessary for Congress to lift a self-imposed deadline. I do not 
prescribe to this view.
  Congressional authority to propose Amendments to the Constitution and 
the mode of ratification is absolute. The language of Article V of the 
Constitution represents the Founders intent to create a stable 
government designed for change. Article V requires two-thirds of the 
House and Senate to propose an amendment. Congress can choose 
ratification through three-fourths of the state legislatures or state 
ratifying conventions. Once the amendment is proposed to the states, 
there is no Constitutionally imposed time limit on the ratification 
process. Article V of the Constitution is silent with regard to when a 
state must consider and ratify an amendment. For example, the 
ratification process for the 27th Amendment took more than two hundred 
  Historically, Congress has ratified amendments without specific time 
limitations. The first amendment to contain a time limit was the 18th 
Amendment which established the prohibition of alcohol. The text of the 
18th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd Amendments each contained language limiting 
the time frame for ratification. In contrast, the text of the Equal 
Rights Amendment ratified by the states does not contain a time limit. 
It is the proposing clause sent to the states for ratification of the 
Equal Rights Amendment which contains a seven-year time limitation. The 
language of a proposing clause is not binding. The current ratification 
process of the Equal Rights Amendment is properly before the states and 
is reasonable and sufficiently contemporaneous.
  Having been ratified by Virginia, according to Article V, the ERA has 
become part of the Constitution. Furthermore, if the deadline is 
binding, then passage of this resolution, without passage in the 
Senate, does not cure the defect. Because the deadline is not binding, 
this resolution is not necessary, but also not harmful.
  Women continue to face additional hurdles in the pathways to success. 
On average, women still earn less than men for the same job functions. 
Pregnant women often lack basic protections and reasonable 
accommodation in the workplace. Perhaps most concerning of all, 
violence against women is still widespread and undermines the 
educational and social potential of women and young children in this 
  I am proud to have worked with my Democratic colleagues in the House 
to pass legislation to remedy these inequalities. The House recently 
passed the Protect the Right to Organize Act (H.R. 2474) which protects 
workers who are trying to form a union. In most of America, women earn 
less than men, but women and men working under a union contract receive 
equal pay for equal work. We have worked to fill the gaps in the 
patchwork of existing laws governing how and when workers take time off 
to care for themselves and their families. Expanding the Family and 
Medical Leave Act to cover more working parents and low wage workers 
who are currently excluded from leave policies is a top priority.
  Nearly two thirds of minimum wage workers in the United States are 
women. The House has successfully passed the Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 
582). This will raise the income levels of the most economically 
insecure households and is a step in the right direction towards pay 
equity. The Pregnant Worker's Fairness Act (H.R. 2694) is an important 
piece of legislation that will provide reasonable accommodations to 
pregnant women in the workforce. The House also passed the Violence 
Against Women Reauthorization Act (H.R. 1585) which expanded 
protections and provides critical funding for victim services, law 
enforcement training, and data collection.
  However, even if all this legislation were to become law, it would 
not be the same as amending the Constitution to guarantee women equal 
  Discrimination in the workplace, violence in the home, and 
institutional barriers require systemic legal and cultural change. 
Ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment provides an additional legal 
tool for combatting discrimination on the basis of sex.
  We will continue the fight for equality and work towards a more 
inclusive and equitable society.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Madam Speaker, over the course of many 
years, I have consistently sponsored and promoted women's rights 
legislation to ensure equal pay for equal work including most recently, 
the Paycheck Fairness Act.
  In the struggle against wage discrimination, I voted in favor of 2009 
the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
  To help ensure that women are not disadvantaged in their careers 
because of time taken to attend to their families, I was an early and 
strong advocate of multiple legislative initiatives to provide family 
medical leave--including the groundbreaking bill that became law, the 
Family and Medical Leave Act.
  And this year, I have cosponsored the FAMILY Act.
  I voted to ensure that women's rights are protected in higher 
education by strongly supporting Title IX.
  I have supported legislation to amend pension and tax policies that 
negatively impact women and I supported numerous bills to establish 
certain rights for sexual assault survivors including the Survivors' 
Bill of Rights which is now law.
  Since the mid-1990s, I have led the effort to end the barbaric 
practice of human trafficking, a human rights abuse that is a perverted 
and unimaginable exploitation of women and girls that thrives on greed, 
disrespect and secrecy.
  Twenty years ago, the U.S. Congress approved and the President signed 
legislation that I authored--the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 
2000--a comprehensive whole-of-government initiative to combat sex and 
labor trafficking in the United States and around the world.
  The Violence Against Women Act (See Division B) was reauthorized and 
significantly expanded by my law. Last year, I cosponsored the Violence 
Against Women Extension Act of 2019.
  This past January, I authored another bill that was signed into law--
my fifth major law on human trafficking--The Frederick Douglass 
Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act.
  After a young college student from my district, Samantha Josephson, 
was brutally murdered by the driver of what she thought was her Uber 
ride, I introduced Sami's Law to make the ride share safer for all. In 
recent months it has been shocking to learn that thousands of women who 
use Lyft or Uber have been sexually assaulted and some have been 
  I arrive at the debate on the elimination of the deadline for the ERA 
from the perspective of my work to ensure equality and protection for 
women and every woman's right to be treated fairly and without 
  The words of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the legal 
impermissibility of extending the deadline for ratification have sealed 
the fate of the proposed amendment. Justice Ginsburg's judgment is that 
the deadline has expired and that she ``would like it to start over'' 
presents a definitive view that the process has come to an end.
  According to Vox, Justice Ginsburg also said ``There's too much 
controversy about latecomers, plus, a number of states have withdrawn 
their ratification. So, if you count a latecomer on the plus side, how 
can you disregard states that said `we've changed our minds?' '' Five 
states--Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Tennessee, and South Dakota--voted 
to ratify the ERA but later rescinded that ratification.
  Today, however, one thing is absolutely clear from both sides of the 
abortion divide: ratification of the ERA with its current wording will 
likely overturn laws prohibiting public funding of abortion--like the 
Hyde Amendment--and undo modest restrictions on abortion including 
waiting periods, parental involvement, women's right to know laws, 
conscience rights including the Weldon Amendment and any ban on late 
term abortion including the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
  Should the ERA be ratified without clarifying abortion-neutral 
language--to wit: ``Nothing in this Article shall be construed to grant 
or secure any right relating to abortion or the funding thereof''--
abortion activists will use the ERA as they have successfully used 
state ERAs in both New Mexico and Connecticut--to force taxpayers to 
pay for abortion on demand.
  Consider this:
  The Supreme Court of New Mexico ruled in 1998 that the state was 
required to fund abortion based solely on the state ERA and said the 
law ``undoubtedly singles out . . . a gender-linked condition that is 
unique to women'' and therefore ``violates the Equal Rights 
  In like manner, the Supreme Court of Connecticut invalidated its 
state ban on abortion funding and wrote in 1986: ``it is therefore 
clear, under the Connecticut ERA, that the regulation excepting . . . 
abortions from the Medicaid program discriminates against women.''
  Today in Pennsylvania, activists are suing to eviscerate the abortion 
funding restriction in that state claiming that the Hyde-type 
restriction violates the Pennsylvania Equal Rights Amendment.
  While I take issue with abortion activists who refuse to recognize an 
unborn child's inherent dignity, worth and value, at least activists on 
both sides agree that the ERA as written will be used in court as a 
means to compel public funding of abortion and to strike down the Hyde 
Amendment and other modest abortion restrictions at both the state and 
federal level.

[[Page H1142]]

  NARAL Pro-Choice America plainly states: ``With its ratification, the 
ERA . . . would require judges to strike down anti-abortion laws . . 
  A senior lawyer of the National Women's Law Centers said: ``The ERA 
would help create a basis to challenge abortion restrictions.''
  The National Right to Life Committee states that ``the proposed 
federal ERA would invalidate the federal Hyde Amendment and all state 
restrictions on tax-funded abortions.''
  And the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops agree and wrote ``One 
consequence of the ERA would be the likely requirement of federal 
funding for abortions . . . (and) arguments have been proffered that 
the federal ERA would . . . restrain the ability of the federal and 
state governments to enact other measures regulating abortion, such as 
third-trimester or partial birth abortion bans, parental consent, 
informed consent, conscience-related exemptions, and other 
  According to the most recent Marist Poll (January 2020), 60 percent 
of all Americans oppose using tax dollars for abortion, seven in ten 
Americans including nearly half who identify as pro-choice want 
significant restrictions on abortion, a majority of Americans--55 
percent--want to ban abortion after 20 weeks, and nearly two-thirds of 
Americans oppose abortion if the child will be born with Down Syndrome.
  I believe that all human beings--especially the weakest and most 
vulnerable including unborn baby girls and boys--deserve respect, 
empathy, compassion and protection from violence.
  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Madam Speaker, today, I rise in support of H.J. 
Res. 79, which will remove a deadline for the ratification of the Equal 
Rights Amendment. This will ensure that our country fully accepts the 
impact of the recent ratifications by the states of Nevada, Illinois, 
and Virginia.
  The Equal Rights Amendment represents the further advancement of 
women in our society. It enshrines the American ideal that ``equality 
of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United 
States or any State on account of sex''. While other existing statutes 
have been interpreted as prohibiting some forms of sex discrimination, 
there are still numerous avenues in which they are inefficient for the 
full protection of women under the law.
  As representatives of communities across our nation, we must set an 
explicit example of our championing of women's rights. Women continue 
to face obstacles to their full equality, including through unequal 
pay, pregnancy discrimination, sexual and domestic violence, and 
inadequate access to health care services. As the United States, we 
must be mindful of the global influence we have, and we must ensure 
that gender equality is, without a doubt, enshrined in our foundational 
  The bipartisan support of this legislation captures the will of 
Americans for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. 
Therefore, I am proud to support this resolution as a crucial step 
forward for gender equality.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. All time for debate has expired.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 844, the previous question is ordered.
  The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the joint 
  The joint resolution was ordered to be engrossed and read a third 
time, and was read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the passage of the joint 

                             Point of Order

  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, I have a point of order.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will state his point of order.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, I make the point of order that a 
two-thirds vote is required for passage of this joint resolution 
because it does have the effect of amending the Constitution.
  And on the point of order, Madam Speaker, there was an extension that 
was passed in 1978, where this issue came up, which extended the 
deadline until 1982.
  In 1982, the Equal Rights Amendment deadlines expired. In 1983, 
Chairman Peter Rodino, of the Judiciary Committee, decided to introduce 
H.J. Res. 1, which started the process over again.
  The difference between what happened in 1978 and 1983 is that 
Chairman Rodino, and those who supported re-introducing and attempting 
to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, realized that it had expired and 
required a start-over.
  I believe that this does fall under that, and that it does require a 
start-over, and I would ask the Chair to rule on whether or not the 
point of order is well-taken and this does require a two-thirds vote.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair is prepared to rule.
  Pursuant to House Resolution 842, an affirmative vote of a majority 
of Members present and voting, a quorum being present, is required on 
final passage of the pending measure. The gentleman's point of order is 
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, I appeal the decision of the Chair.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The terms of House Resolution 842 are 
unambiguous and so, consistent with the ruling of the Chair on 
September 16, 1977, to permit an appeal in this case would be 
tantamount to permitting a direct change in that resolution. As such, 
the Chair has not issued an appealable ruling, and the Chair will put 
the question on passage of the joint resolution.
  Mr. SENSENBRENNER. Madam Speaker, I appeal that ruling of the Chair 
as well, which I believe is appealable.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. That ruling is not subject to appeal.
  The question is on the passage of the joint resolution.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 232, 
nays 183, not voting 15, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 70]


     Bishop (GA)
     Blunt Rochester
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brown (MD)
     Brownley (CA)
     Carson (IN)
     Casten (IL)
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Cox (CA)
     Davids (KS)
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny K.
     Davis, Rodney
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Garcia (IL)
     Garcia (TX)
     Gonzalez (TX)
     Green, Al (TX)
     Harder (CA)
     Higgins (NY)
     Horn, Kendra S.
     Jackson Lee
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson (TX)
     Kelly (IL)
     Kuster (NH)
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawson (FL)
     Lee (CA)
     Lee (NV)
     Levin (CA)
     Levin (MI)
     Lieu, Ted
     Maloney, Carolyn B.
     Maloney, Sean
     Murphy (FL)
     Price (NC)
     Rice (NY)
     Rose (NY)
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Sewell (AL)
     Smith (WA)
     Swalwell (CA)
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Torres (CA)
     Torres Small (NM)
     Van Drew
     Wasserman Schultz
     Watson Coleman
     Wilson (FL)


     Bishop (NC)
     Bishop (UT)
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Collins (GA)
     Davidson (OH)

[[Page H1143]]

     Foxx (NC)
     Gonzalez (OH)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Green (TN)
     Hern, Kevin
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice (GA)
     Higgins (LA)
     Hill (AR)
     Hurd (TX)
     Johnson (LA)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson (SD)
     Joyce (OH)
     Joyce (PA)
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kustoff (TN)
     Mooney (WV)
     Murphy (NC)
     Rice (SC)
     Rodgers (WA)
     Roe, David P.
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rooney (FL)
     Rose, John W.
     Scott, Austin
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Thompson (PA)
     Weber (TX)
     Webster (FL)

                             NOT VOTING--15

     Graves (GA)
     Wilson (SC)

                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (during the vote). The Chair will remind all 
persons in the gallery that they are here as guests of the House and 
that any manifestation of approval or disapproval of proceedings is in 
violation of the rules of the House.

                              {time}  1119

  Mr. GOSAR changed his vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''
  Ms. LEE of California changed her vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''
  So the joint resolution was passed.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.
  Stated for:
  Mr. PAYNE. Madam Speaker, due to a medical condition, I was unable to 
vote on the following Roll Call on February 13, 2020.
  Had I been present, I would have voted: ``yea'' on rollcall No. 70 
(Final Passage of H.J. Res. 79)--Removing the deadline for the 
ratification of the equal rights amendment (Rep. Speier--Judiciary).
  Mrs. KIRKPATRICK. Madam Speaker, I was absent today due to a medical 
emergency. Had I been present, I would have voted: ``yea'' on rollcall 
No. 70.