REMOVING THE DEADLINE FOR THE RATIFICATION OF THE EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT; Congressional Record Vol. 167, No. 50
(House of Representatives - March 17, 2021)

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    REMOVING THE DEADLINE FOR THE RATIFICATION OF THE EQUAL RIGHTS 
                               AMENDMENT

  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 233, I call 
up the joint resolution (H.J. Res. 17) removing the deadline for the 
ratification of the equal rights amendment, and ask for its immediate 
consideration.
  The Clerk read the title of the joint resolution.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Beatty). Pursuant to House Resolution 
233, the joint resolution is considered read.
  The text of the joint resolution is as follows:

                              H.J. Res. 17

       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 shall be debatable for 
one hour, equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking 
minority member of the Committee on the Judiciary or their respective 
designees.
  The gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler) and the gentlewoman from 
Minnesota (Mrs. Fischbach) 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. 17.
  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 3 minutes.
  Madam Speaker, H.J. Res. 17 is long-overdue legislation to ensure 
that the equal rights amendment can finally become the 28th Amendment 
to the United States Constitution. The House passed identical 
legislation last Congress on a bipartisan basis, and I hope it will do 
so again today.
  Madam Speaker, in 1923, Alice Paul first introduced an amendment to 
the Constitution to guarantee full equal protection for women. The text 
of the amendment is simple and clear: ``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 amendment passed with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in the 
House and Senate in 1972.
  Unfortunately, it fell just short of being ratified by the requisite 
number of States before the arbitrary deadline imposed by Congress ran 
out in 1982. In the 40 years since, we have made great strides in this 
country to ensure equality. Women have secured the right to vote, 
protection against workplace discrimination, and through case law 
decided under the 14th Amendment, many other critical protections 
denied them for too long on the basis of sex.
  Without the ERA, millions of women have still had to march in support 
of their rights, their healthcare, their reproductive freedom and 
abortion access, and their dignity as equal citizens. Through the Me 
Too movement, we have had long-overdue, and sometimes painful, 
conversations about the violence and harassment that women and others 
experience--whether in the workplace, at homes, or in schools and 
universities.
  But still, to this day, the Constitution does not explicitly 
recognize and guarantee that no one can be denied equal protection of 
the laws on the basis of sex. 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 
scrutiny.
  Last year, Virginia became the 38th and last necessary State to 
ratify the ERA, and, today, in passing H.J. Res. 17, we will be one 
step closer to enshrining it into law. This resolution removes a 
previous deadline Congress set in the amendment's proposing clause for 
ratifying the ERA, and will, therefore, ensure that recent 
ratifications by Nevada, Illinois, and Virginia are given full effect.
  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 amendments. Congress, just as clearly, has the authority 
to extend or remove any deadlines that it previously chose to set in 
the first place.
  The recent ruling by the United States District Court for the 
District of Columbia refusing to recognize the recent State 
ratifications makes it even more imperative that Congress act now in 
removing this deadline. We must make it absolutely clear that Congress 
does not want language put in the proposing clause of a resolution 40 
years ago to stand in the way of full equality now.
  Madam Speaker, I thank Representative Speier for introducing this 
resolution, which takes that important step. This resolution will 
ensure, at long last, that the equal rights amendment can take its 
rightful place as part of our Nation's Constitution.
  Madam Speaker, I urge all Members to support it, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from New York for yielding.
  H.J. Res. 17 is not a resolution to revive the equal rights 
amendment; it is

[[Page H1420]]

a messaging vehicle. That is why Democrats bypassed the Committee on 
the Judiciary and brought this resolution directly to the floor, a 
common theme for this majority. There was no process for this 
resolution, a resolution that Democrats claim is a priority. We are 
here today for a headline so the Democrats can say they supported the 
ERA when it was in the House.
  But the fact is, Madam Speaker, that men and women in the United 
States are already equal under law. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments 
to the Constitution require as much, guaranteeing equal protection for 
all under the laws of this country. To me, the ERA is unnecessary, 
redundant, and divisive. The only thing it will do is empower the far-
left special interest groups and lead to activist litigation.
  Just last year, the head of Planned Parenthood declared: ``There is 
no equal rights for women without access to abortion, plain and 
simple.''
  Or according to NARAL Pro-Choice America: ``With its ratification, 
the ERA would reinforce the constitutional right to abortion.''
  Madam Speaker, we should take them at their word.
  For years, groups like Planned Parenthood and others have advocated 
for adoption of the ERA so they can use it to pursue their pro-abortion 
agendas. If the ERA became law, it would allow these organizations to 
advance the radical policies through the courts without being in full 
view of the American people. These groups have hijacked the ERA and are 
seeking to use it as a tool to challenge States' pro-life laws.

  But the reality is that this resolution is unconstitutional. Article 
V of the Constitution empowers Congress to propose amendments to the 
Constitution by a two-thirds vote of both the House and the Senate. 
After Congress proposes an amendment, the amendment is sent to the 
States for ratification. Three-fourths of the States must ratify the 
amendment in order for it to become effective.
  The equal rights amendment was proposed in 1972. The amendment set an 
explicit deadline. It gave the States 7 years, until 1979, for 
ratification. Setting a deadline for ratification is part of Congress' 
authority to determine the mode of ratification under Article V.
  In 1920, the Supreme Court held in Dillon v. Gloss that there was no 
doubt that Congress can set a date for ratifying an amendment. The 
deadline to ratify the ERA has long since passed, and the amendment 
fell short of the required number of States. When proposing a 
constitutional amendment, the deadline for ratification is just as 
important as the substance.
  The District Court for D.C., less than 2 weeks ago, denied an effort 
by Virginia, Nevada, and Illinois to force the adoption of the ERA, 
despite the 1979 deadline. In denying the effort of those States, the 
courts said that a deadline for ratification still receives the assent 
of two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, and putting it in the 
resolving clause does not evade Article V's procedural requirements in 
any way.
  Because setting a deadline takes a two-thirds vote of Congress, it 
would be absurd to say that changing that deadline requires anything 
less. If a simple majority of Congress could alter a proposed amendment 
after it has been sent to the States, the two-thirds requirement of 
Article V would be meaningless.
  A partisan majority cannot rewrite a proposed amendment at will after 
there has been an agreement in Congress. However, that is just what 
H.J. Res. 17 and the Democrats propose to do.
  The ERA expired in 1979, and this joint resolution is a legal fiction 
advanced for political purposes.
  Madam Speaker, I urge all Members to oppose this resolution.

                              {time}  1030

  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, the gentlewoman errs, the deadline for 
ratification is not part of the amendment, it is part of the resolution 
proposing the amendment. And if Congress can propose a deadline, it can 
revoke that proposal since it is not part of the amendment at all.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from California 
(Ms. Speier).
  Ms. SPEIER. Madam Speaker, this is a glorious day for women in 
America. With the passage of the ERA and the Violence Against Women 
Act, we are making great strides forward.
  This particular resolution does one thing. We want in the 
Constitution, plain and simple.
  Antonin Scalia, the great jurist, said once: Does the Constitution 
require discrimination based on sex? The answer is no.
  But if the question is: Does the Constitution prohibit discrimination 
based on sex?
  The answer is also no.
  That should send a chilling feeling in each of us that in the 
Constitution of the United States women are not protected.
  In fact, we are the only country with a written Constitution that 
does not prohibit discrimination based on sex. Shame on us.
  There can be no expiration date on equality. This is a bipartisan 
bill. We are proud to bring it to the floor.
  My colleagues across the aisle may say we don't need the ERA, women 
are already equal under the law, that it is redundant.
  Well, tell that to Christy Brzonkala, who was raped by two football 
players at Virginia Tech. She sought justice under VAWA, but the 
Supreme Court struck down the civil suit provision, claiming Congress 
lacked the power to pass it.
  Or Tracy Rexroat, whose starting salary at the Arizona Department of 
Education was $17,000 less than her colleague. They based the salaries 
on what their prior salary was from whatever job they came, so she 
receives $17,000 less than her colleague. She too filed an action under 
the Equal Pay Act, and the courts held that there was some reasonable 
expectation.
  Well, there is nothing reasonable about that. And until we have the 
ERA in the Constitution that provides the same level of scrutiny as 
race discrimination, this will continue to be a problem.
  Or ask Jessica Gonzales if she thinks it is redundant. Jessica's 
estranged husband kidnapped and murdered their three young daughters 
after the police refused to enforce a restraining order.
  If we had the ERA, these cases would have had different outcomes. The 
ERA will create stronger legal recourse against sex discrimination, it 
will empower Congress to better enforce and enact laws protecting 
women, and it will confirm the rightful place of gender equality in the 
Constitution where it belongs.
  I believe most of us recognize that this is the right thing to do. 
The ERA is about building an America that we want. It is about forming 
a more perfect union, it is about equality, survival, dignity, and 
respect.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from New Jersey (Mr. Smith).
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Madam Speaker, some lawmakers continue to 
ignore, trivialize, or deny the fact that abortion activists plan to 
aggressively use the Federal ERA--as they have used State ERAs--in a 
litigation strategy designed to overturn pro-life laws and policies, 
including restrictions supported by huge majorities of Americans.
  As the Marist Poll found recently in January: Seven in 10 Americans, 
including nearly half who identify as pro-choice, want significant 
restrictions on abortions. While I fundamentally disagree with abortion 
activists who refuse to recognize an unborn child's inherent dignity, 
worth and value, many on both sides now agree that how the ERA is 
written will be used in court to massively promote abortion.
  NARAL Pro-Choice America said the ERA would ``reinforce the 
constitutional right to abortion'' and ``require judges to strike down 
anti-abortion laws.''
  The National Organization for Women said: ``An ERA--properly 
interpreted--could negate the hundreds of laws that have been passed 
restricting access to abortion. . . .''
  Those laws include the Hyde amendment, waiting periods, parental 
involvement statutes, women's right-to-know laws, conscience rights, 
and late term abortion ban, like the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act.
  By now, my colleagues know that the Supreme Court of New Mexico ruled 
that the State was required--required to fund abortion, based solely on 
the State ERA.
  In like manner, the Supreme Court of Connecticut invalidated its 
State ban on abortion funding based on its ERA.

[[Page H1421]]

  Ensuring equal rights for women and serious protections against 
violence and exploitation requires laws, policies, and spending 
priorities to achieve those noble and necessary goals, without--I say 
again, without putting unborn baby girls and boys at risk of death.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I am glad the gentleman recognizes that 
equality includes the right of each woman and man to make their own 
decision about their reproductive choices. There can be no equality of 
the sexes when one class of people is denied the ability to control 
their own bodies.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished gentlewoman from 
Georgia (Mrs. McBath).
  Mrs. McBATH. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, I celebrate this Women's History Month by reflecting 
on the achievement of so many women who have blazed a trail for the 
generations that followed them; women who didn't listen when they were 
told that they couldn't, they shouldn't, or that they didn't belong.
  American women have fought for the right to vote, the right to equal 
education, the right to reproductive healthcare, and the right to 
financially provide for our families and be compensated the same as 
men. And we will continue these fights until our Constitution declares 
that women are equal in the eyes of the law.
  It is time for full constitutional equality. The American people 
overwhelmingly support this bipartisan legislation. I am proud to vote 
for it again today in honor of the generations of women that have made 
strides toward equality. I know that we will soon achieve it.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman 
from Indiana (Mrs. Spartz).
  Mrs. SPARTZ. Madam Speaker, I think it is a good discussion to have, 
but I would suggest to my colleagues from the other side, if they do 
believe this issue is still valid and necessary, to actually restart 
this process from the beginning, because we are wasting our time right 
here. A 1972 amendment cannot be ratified, it doesn't exist. It has 
expired. It is unconstitutional. A lot of things have changed.
  We can debate if it is necessary or not, but if we want to have a 
real debate, we need to restart this from the beginning and not waste 
time debating something that doesn't exist. So I would ask not to 
support this amendment, and it is unconstitutional.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Cohen).
  Mr. COHEN. Madam Speaker, I want to thank the chairman for his time, 
and I want to thank Mrs. Maloney and Ms. Speier for their long work on 
this, and the many women before them who have worked hard on this 
effort.
  Congress created the limitation on years on the passage of the ERA, 
and Congress can change it, and Congress should change it.
  I am the product of the work of a woman, my mother, and her mother 
produced her. We should not forget women and their commitment and 
invaluable contributions at our birth.
  Every woman should have the same rights as a man. They don't get paid 
the same, they are discriminated in the workplace, they are harassed, 
they are abused. They should have equal rights. That has not occurred 
in America, and it won't happen until we pass this bill.
  I favor the passage and I appreciate the spirit in which it is 
offered.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Arizona (Mrs. Lesko).
  Mrs. LESKO. Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill. This 
push to remove the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights 
Amendment is an unnecessary and unconstitutional power-grab.
  This bill is unconstitutional. Congress set a deadline for the ERA; 
it was 1979. With only 35 of the 38 States needed for ratification at 
the time, Congress extended the deadline to 1982, but no other States 
joined in, ending the ratification process for the equal rights 
amendment.
  Even the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that the 
deadline for the ERA ratification had long passed. She said: ``I would 
like to see a new beginning. I'd like it to start over. There's 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've changed our minds?''' If my colleagues on the other 
side of the aisle want to ratify the ERA, they have to start over.
  Women also already have equal rights under the law. In decision after 
decision, the United States Supreme Court has underscored that the 14th 
Amendment to the United States Constitution gives women equal rights 
and prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, rendering, I believe, 
the ERA unnecessary.
  Finally, if ratified, the ERA would be used to codify the right to 
abortion, undoing pro-life protections, and forcing taxpayers to fund 
abortions.
  The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that their State's ERA provision 
required the State to fund abortions. Numerous pro-abortion groups have 
already made the case for ratifying the ERA on the basis of expanding 
their abortion agenda. Just listen to the words of the organizations 
pushing this legislation themselves.
  The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, NARAL, 
has claimed that, ``With its ratification, the ERA would reinforce the 
constitutional right to abortion.''
  Planned Parenthood and the Women's Law Project has said that State 
bans and government funding of elective abortions are ``contrary to a 
modern understanding of the ERA.''
  The National Organization for Women has said, ``An ERA--properly 
interpreted--could negate the hundreds of laws that have been passed 
restricting access to abortion care and contraception.''
  With this unconstitutional bill, my colleagues across the aisle are 
hiding behind the rhetoric of equality for women to eliminate any and 
all protections for unborn babies, half of which would be girls, then 
women, if given the chance to live.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill.

                              {time}  1045

  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the 
gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Cohen) that he may control that time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from Tennessee will control 
the time.
  Mr. COHEN. Unlike Alexander Haig, I am only here temporarily.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from New York 
(Mrs. Carolyn B. Maloney), who is from the East Side and who, as 
chairperson, brought us the great hearing last year on the ERA.
  Mrs. CAROLYN B. MALONEY of New York. Madam Speaker, there is no time 
limit on equality. The equal rights amendment passed the needed 38 
States, including the great State of New York. Enough is enough. It is 
long past time for women to be in the Constitution.
  We may not always be able to control, nor should women's rights be 
dependent upon who controls State governments, who is in the White 
House or Congress, or who sits on the Supreme Court.
  Our rights shouldn't be determined by these types of things. It 
should be in the document, the document they interpret and that they 
are bound by.
  It is long past time to spell out equality in our Constitution with 
the ERA.
  Unfortunately, we are seeing the effects of gender inequality acutely 
during this pandemic. An estimated 1 million more women than men have 
lost their jobs, and a disproportionate number of those suffering are 
Black women and Latinas.
  We need to pass it. It is urgently needed. Let's just imagine if the 
ERA had been ratified in the 1970s, as it should have been.
  Would we have needed today a dramatic Me Too, Time's Up movement with 
hundreds of thousands of women having to tell their often painful 
personal stories in order to get justice?
  Or would the Violence Against Women Act and other legislation 
addressing sexual assault have been passed, if it had been passed much 
sooner, without the risk of a Supreme Court ruling limiting a woman's 
right to sue? Women could sue directly if they were in the 
Constitution.

[[Page H1422]]

  We have the opportunity to make equal rights under the law a reality 
for our mothers, our daughters, our granddaughters, and ourselves. We 
must recognize that there is no time limit on equality and vote to pass 
today's resolution now.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Would the gentlewoman please pull her mask 
up.
  Mr. COHEN. Madam Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Nadler), who is the chairman of the 
committee, that he may control that time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman will control the balance of 
the time.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished 
gentlewoman from California (Ms. Chu).
  Ms. CHU. Madam Speaker, discrimination against women is a part of 
America's history, but it should not be our future. That is why we need 
the equal rights amendment.
  It was not an accident that women were left out of the Constitution. 
The Founders very much believed us to be unequal and, as such, we could 
not own property, vote, hold certain jobs, or even serve on a jury.
  The impacts of that discrimination are still felt today. Women are 
paid less than men and still face discrimination for being pregnant.
  The Founders were wrong, and this is our chance to fix it by doing 
what they refused to do: assert in the Constitution that women, too, 
have rights.
  The ERA will not end discrimination, but it will empower us to fight 
it in court. Already, 38 States have ratified this amendment, which 
satisfies the requirements in the Constitution. The vast majority of 
Americans support it.
  Congress set a deadline for ratification, which means we can repeal 
it. It is time to affirm that there is no expiration date on equality.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Georgia (Mrs. Greene).
  Mrs. GREENE of Georgia. Madam Speaker, the language of the equal 
rights amendment is simple, but don't be deceived by its simple 
language.
  The reviving of the deadline and ratifying of this amendment would 
destroy all distinctions between men and women, enshrine abortion, and 
empower the woke feminist mob.
  The equal rights amendment is dead and should remain dead. The States 
and Congress missed the deadline to have the amendment passed in 1979. 
The Trump Department of Justice issued a legal opinion in January that 
the deadline for the ERA has already passed, by any legal measure.
  The ERA would be a new constitutional right guaranteeing abortion on 
demand. Have we not murdered enough people in the womb in this country, 
over 62 million?
  Guaranteeing abortion on demand is completely wrong. It is not a 
constitutional right. As a matter of fact, the person in the womb 
should have the constitutional right. It is not a ``my body, my 
choice'' issue because the person in the womb is not the same body as 
the woman.
  Also, NARAL Pro-Choice America claims: ``With its ratification, the 
ERA would reinforce the constitutional right to abortion.''
  If anything, we should be guaranteeing a constitutional right to 
people in the womb. They should have the constitutional right to life, 
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  Let's carry on. VAWA, Violence Against Women Act. Democrats have 
hijacked a program designed to help marginalized women and have turned 
it into a political weapon that erases gender and destroys all 
religious freedom.
  On the wall right here, it says: In God We Trust. God states that He 
created male and female, not a plethora of genders that anyone can 
choose from.

  They want to let men calling themselves women sleep with women in 
domestic abuse shelters. The Democrats will not be satisfied until 
every battered woman is endangered so long as their sexual orientation 
and gender identity ideology advances.
  That is not science. Science says that there are only two genders, 
male and female, according to the chromosomes.
  Make no mistake about it, Democrats want to destroy our country. They 
want to close every church and nonprofit that doesn't capitulate to 
their oppressive agenda. Democrats want to put domestic violence 
abusers in the same room as their victims. Democrats want to dissolve 
all sex-based protection for women and girls through the relentless 
onslaught of gender identity.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, every amendment since the 22nd, except for 
the 27th, has had a deadline for ratification inserted in the 
resolution. But if you look at the Constitution, Madam Speaker, you 
won't find the deadline. That is because the deadline is part of the 
congressional resolution proposing the amendment, not part of the 
amendment itself.
  What Congress can propose, Congress can alter, which is all we are 
proposing to do today.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the distinguished gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Pelosi).
  Ms. PELOSI. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. It is 
wonderful to see Members of Congress wearing white today to observe the 
fact that we are making history by passing legislation about equality 
in our country.
  I thank Congresswoman Jackie Speier for her relentless championing of 
this equal rights amendment in terms of the date that the distinguished 
chair of the Judiciary Committee referenced. I also thank Carolyn 
Maloney for her long-term advocacy of the equal rights amendment. I 
thank Chairman Nadler for enabling us to have this legislation on the 
floor today and for his leadership on this issue over time.
  Madam Speaker, 100 years ago, in 1921, a solemn promise was made to 
the women of our country, one honoring our most fundamental truth as a 
nation, as the equal rights amendment was first introduced. When it was 
first introduced, it said: ``Men and women shall have equal rights 
throughout the United States and every place subject to its 
jurisdiction.''
  Simple, clear, fair, and just. Yet, a century later, that promise 
remains unfulfilled. The equal rights amendment still has not been 
enshrined in the Constitution, and American women still face inequality 
under the law and, therefore, in their lives.
  In recent years, American women have renewed the legal fight for the 
equal rights amendment. Women of all backgrounds--students, mothers, 
seniors, communities of color, indigenous women, et cetera--have taken 
up the mantle of the suffragists before them, standing on suffragists' 
shoulders as they marched, mobilized, protested, and picketed for their 
rights. Because of their courage and commitment, 38 States have now 
ratified the equal rights amendment.
  But one final barrier remains: removing the artificial, arbitrary 
time limit for ratification. As the distinguished chairman pointed out, 
that deadline timetable is not in the Constitution. Until we remove 
that arbitrary time limit, the ERA cannot become part of our 
Constitution.
  Last year, the House passed legislation to remove this arbitrary time 
limit, but unfortunately, the Senate failed to do so. So, today, the 
House will, once again, pass this legislation and send it to the Senate 
for a vote. We are proud to be doing it in Women's History Month.
  We salute again Congresswoman Jackie Speier, our champion on the 
legislation on the floor today, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who 
has been our lead sponsor of the ERA for 25 years now.
  Madam Speaker, I thank Members from both sides of the aisle, 
including cosponsor Representative   Tom Reed from New York, for their 
bipartisan support in the Congress, which reflects the overwhelming 
bipartisan support in the country. A full 94 percent of the public 
supports the equal rights amendment, including 99 percent, nearly 
unanimous support, among millennials and Generation Z.
  Let us not forget that, in 1972, the equal rights amendment was 
passed with bipartisan supermajorities in both Chambers of Congress, 
and it enjoyed the strong support of President Nixon, who wrote in 1968 
that ``the task of achieving constitutional equality between the sexes 
is still not completed'' and pointed out that all Republican National 
Conventions since 1940 have

[[Page H1423]]

supported the longtime movement for equality.
  There is no reason why today, after 80 years of Republican support, 
the ERA should not have full bipartisan support in the Congress. The 
resolution on the floor today will pave the way to passage of the equal 
rights amendment, which is one of the most important steps that we can 
take to affirm and ensure women's equality in America.
  The text of the equal rights amendment states: ``Equality of rights 
under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or 
by any State on account of sex.''
  ``On account of sex'' recalls to mind the beautiful documentary about 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
  Passing the equal rights amendment will create essential avenues for 
legal recourse for people who face discrimination under the laws on the 
basis of sex. It will ensure that the Supreme Court applies the same 
standard of review for sex discrimination cases as it applies to cases 
of discrimination based on race and national origin. It will help 
Congress pass laws for better legal protections against injustice, 
including those related to sexual assault, domestic violence, and 
paycheck unfairness. It will confirm the rightful place of gender 
equality in all aspects of life.
  There are some who say that the equal rights amendment is not needed. 
To them, I quote the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who said: ``Certainly 
the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. 
The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It does not.''
  These are not just words. This is the daily reality for America's 
women who face inequality and injustice in so many arenas of life, from 
a massive wage gap, to pregnancy discrimination, to sexual harassment 
in the workplace, to economic disparities that have worsened during 
coronavirus.

                              {time}  1100

  Passing this resolution, and then the ERA, will not only help women, 
but by unleashing the full economic potential of women, it will help 
families and boost our economy, all while advancing justice and 
equality in America for everyone.
  Madam Speaker, I urge a strong bipartisan vote on this strong step 
toward equality for women, progress for families, and a stronger 
America--affirming the truth, Madam Speaker, that you have espoused 
that when women succeed, America succeeds.
  I commend the leadership on this issue, the distinguished chairman, 
and the sponsors of the resolution, Jackie Speier and Carolyn Maloney.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from Georgia 
(Mrs. McBath) to control the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentlewoman from Georgia will control 
the time.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman 
from Missouri (Mrs. Hartzler).
  Mrs. HARTZLER. Madam Speaker, I rise today to celebrate the 
achievements women have made and reaffirm that we are already equal 
under current law.
  Women represent 51 percent of the population, comprise over half of 
college students, make up the majority of medical and law school 
students, and run 12.3 million women-owned businesses while generating 
$1.8 trillion each year.
  Little girls can be whatever they want to be, whether that is an 
astronaut, a doctor, a full-time mom working at home, or a Member of 
Congress.
  The ERA would not add to the rights already guaranteed by the 14th 
Amendment's Equal Protection Clause, but it could jeopardize them.
  How? Two ways.
  First, by making it discriminatory to offer benefits to women not 
offered to men; women's scholarships, women's colleges, job protection 
for pregnant women, and safe spaces may all be on the chopping block.
  When the equal rights amendment was first proposed a century ago, 
many women's rights advocates recognized the negative ramifications it 
would bring. In fact, future First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt expressed 
concerns that legislation protecting women in the workplace could be 
eliminated should the ERA become part of the U.S. Constitution.
  Secondly, because the 1972 definition of sex as male and female is no 
longer accepted by many today and, instead, will require new 
protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. This is a path 
that has already proven to be a threat to women's privacy, safety, and 
equality. Don't take it from me. Talk to the nine women in California 
who were sexually harassed in a women's shelter by a biological male 
identifying as a woman.
  The equal rights amendment would not only codify inequality for 
women, but also destroy the rights of the unborn. The ERA advocates 
have been unequivocal about their support for abortion and for using 
the ERA to overturn pro-life laws.
  Courts have already used State versions of the ERA to force taxpayers 
to fund abortions. A Federal ERA would threaten State pro-life laws, 
Federal protections like the Hyde amendment, and conscience protections 
for American medical professionals who may otherwise be forced to 
perform an abortion.
  Fortunately, the time limit to pass the ERA expired decades ago, and 
there is agreement that Congress cannot go back and remove a deadline 
from a previous constitutional amendment initiative. For example, the 
Supreme Court has already 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.''
  Just over a week ago, a Federal district court ruled that the 
deadline to ratify the ERA ``expired long ago.'' And the recent 
ratifications of the amendment arrived ``too late to count.''
  Pretending we can remove the deadline for passage is both futile and 
deceptive. The ERA is a threat to the historical strides women have 
made. It will eradicate State and Federal pro-life laws and policies, 
and the process is blatantly unconstitutional.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this resolution 
and to, instead, uphold the Constitution, promote life, and protect 
women's rights.
  Mrs. McBATH. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), our esteemed leader of the House.
  Mr. HOYER. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.
  Madam Speaker, as we celebrate Women's History Month, we do so with 
an awareness that so much work in the fight for equality remains. Much 
has been accomplished, but much remains to be done. This is one of 
those.
  That is what the House is focusing on this week, women's equality, 
women's safety and justice, and women's opportunity. I am proud that we 
are taking action to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act within 
the first 3 months of the new Congress.
  I was a cosponsor--and proud of it--of the original 1994 Violence 
Against Women Act. We passed the original VAWA on a bipartisan basis 
and reauthorized it with bipartisan support in 2000 and again in 2005. 
Those were overwhelming votes of 371-1 and 415-4.
  Now we are talking about the equal rights amendment, I understand.
  In 2013, we did it again on VAWA, 87 Republicans joining all 199 
Democrats in the House vote. Every time we reauthorized the law, we 
made it stronger, ensuring protections for more women who were 
victimized by domestic abuse, stalking, and other crimes.
  Last Congress, our House Democratic majority passed a VAWA 
reauthorization that included these expanded protections, but Senate 
Republicans blocked it from consideration. Not that they offered an 
alternative, not that they said: This is a problem and we need to solve 
it. It has been bipartisan, so here is our view and we will go to 
conference on it.

  They simply blocked it.
  It is essential, Madam Speaker, that Congress take action with a 
long-term reauthorization of VAWA, made all the more critical by the 
rise in domestic violence we have seen during the COVID-19 pandemic and 
more people having to stay home; an epidemic of domestic violence. 
Let's send a message to the women and men of America that Congress will 
continue to do its part to root out domestic violence and abuse.
  I was just with Congresswoman Jackson Lee, the sponsor and the chair 
of the Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security Subcommittee. Chairman

[[Page H1424]]

Nadler is now speaking. I said then, as I say now: It is critical that 
we pass this legislation.
  I agree with President Biden, the author of the original 1994 
Violence Against Women Act, that strengthening and renewing VAWA is 
long past due. Once we pass it in the House, I hope the Senate will 
send it quickly to President Biden to sign it into law.
  Madam Speaker, I am speaking on both VAWA, obviously, and the ERA, 
two very critically important pieces of legislation.
  Last year, Virginia became the 38th State to ratify the equal rights 
amendment. When I hear the opposition to the equal rights amendment, 
you would think that we were organizing to defeat women's rights. I 
think some of these speeches were written by Lewis Carroll.
  After Virginia passed and became the 38th State, the House passed a 
resolution to affirm that, with Virginia's action, the equal rights 
amendment had been duly added to our Constitution as the 28th 
Amendment. However, the Republican-led Senate refused to do the same.
  Now, with the Democratic-led Senate, I am hopeful that Congress can 
affirm the adoption of that amendment and provide strong, legal backing 
to those seeking to have it recognized by our courts as a full part of 
our Constitution.
  What little faith we demonstrate in the courts of the United States 
of America when it is going to be interpreted, according to some, as 
not affirming equal rights for women, but somehow undermining equal 
rights. That is why I say that I think these speeches were written by 
Lewis Carroll.
  The amendment simply states, as I am sure has been said: ``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 that be misinterpreted to say somehow we are enunciating a 
proposition that would undermine rather than protect and lift up the 
rights of women?
  It is long overdue that we, as a Nation, affirm this truth: that all 
men and women are created equal. Not the same, quite obviously, but 
equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that 
among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
  Madam Speaker, I have two granddaughters and I have three great-
granddaughters. The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg--the famous or, as 
she would say from time to time, the infamous RGB--said this: ``I would 
like to see my granddaughters, when they pick up the Constitution, to 
see that notion--that women and men are persons of equal stature--I'd 
like them to see that it is a basic principle of our society.''
  Madam Speaker, that is what this amendment is about. It should have 
been passed two centuries ago, but it is never too late to do the right 
thing. And we can take a major step forward this week to make that 
happen by passing the bipartisan resolution offered by Representatives 
Jackie Speier and   Tom Reed.
  I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting both H.J. Res. 17 and 
the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Both will 
articulate our concern for women, for mothers, for daughters, for 
sisters, for neighbors, for friends.
  We have a chance this week to send a message that Congress will not 
tolerate violence or discrimination against women, and we have an 
opportunity to mark this Women's History Month, not just with words, 
but with actions that mean something by making history in a very 
positive way, benefiting not only women, but our Nation as a whole.
  Madam Speaker, I urge all of my colleagues to support these two very 
important pieces of legislation.
  Mrs. McBATH. Madam Speaker, I yield to the gentleman from New York 
(Mr. Nadler) to control the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman from New York will control the 
time.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Rhode Island (Mr. Cicilline).
  Mr. CICILLINE. Madam Speaker, every person, regardless of sex, must 
be treated equally under the law. H.J. Res. 17 reaffirms this core 
American value. It makes clear that the arbitrary deadline in the equal 
rights amendment may not stand in the way of achieving full equality 
for women.
  With women losing their jobs at disproportionately high rates, the 
COVID-19 pandemic has only further revealed the need for this 
amendment.
  In 2020, American women lost more than 5 million jobs. A vote for 
this resolution is a vote for equal access to healthcare. It is a vote 
for equal pay for the same work. It is a vote for equal opportunity and 
basic human rights in all other aspects of life for women in this 
country.
  Congress must act now to remove this arbitrary deadline. There must 
be no time limit on guaranteeing equal rights under the law.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support H.J. Res. 17.

                              {time}  1115

  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman 
from California (Mr. McClintock).
  Mr. McCLINTOCK. Madam Speaker, nearly a half century ago, Congress 
passed the equal rights amendment and sent it to the States with a 7-
year deadline for ratification. When that deadline expired in 1979, it 
was three States short of passage.
  Many States rejected it because it was duplicative of the Fifth and 
14th Amendments to the Constitution. Our Constitution already 
guarantees that all Americans receive equal protection under the law, 
and indeed these provisions have driven our progress as a society.
  More importantly, many felt that the ERA would unleash a crippling 
avalanche of activist litigation that could have unforeseen and 
unintended implications to issues ranging from abortion to freedom of 
conscience and freedom of speech.
  Today, 50 years after its adoption, the Democrats propose to 
retroactively amend the ERA to remove its deadline. They argue that 
Congress can alter amendments it has sent to the States, even a half 
century later, and yet still count their ratification votes from a half 
century ago.
  This would allow them to add three States that voted to ratify long 
after the deadline was passed for the very amendment that established 
that deadline.
  Of course, they don't explain how to deal with the five States that 
have since rescinded their ratification votes.
  The courts have already ruled against this approach as brazenly 
unconstitutional.
  As Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an ardent supporter of the ERA, pointed out a 
few years ago: ``So, if you count a latecomer on the plus side, how can 
you disregard States that said, `We've changed our minds?'''
  If the majority were serious, it would reintroduce the ERA and debate 
it openly and constitutionally, as Justice Ginsburg suggested. They 
won't, because they know that in the nearly half century that has 
passed since the ERA was proposed, the world itself has passed them by.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Garcia).
  Ms. GARCIA of Texas. Madam Speaker, as a young woman in Texas, I 
marched with hundreds of other women in support of the equal rights 
amendment. Today, I stand with all my colleagues here to affirm our 
support for women's equality.
  Women are behind some of the Nation's greatest achievements. We flew 
across the Atlantic, fought for civil rights, set athletic records, 
sent men to space, and then went there ourselves. We have forged our 
own paths and put many cracks in the glass ceiling, but there is still 
much more to do.
  ``Women deserve equality.'' ``Las mujeres merecemos igualdad.''
  I strongly urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on H.J. Res. 17.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Massachusetts (Mrs. Trahan).
  Mrs. TRAHAN. Madam Speaker, I rise in full support of the equal 
rights amendment and to debunk some of the nonsense being spouted by my 
colleagues across the aisle.

[[Page H1425]]

  This legislation is not about special rights, it is not about 
preferential treatment, and it is not about erasing sex differences. It 
is about finally guaranteeing equal rights, plain and simple.
  Critics of the ERA know that, or at least they would if they actually 
read the legislation. It is right there for all of us to see. 
``Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by 
the United States or by any State on account of sex,'' period.
  Everyone in this Capitol has a mother, and some of us are blessed to 
have daughters. This amendment is about them. It is about completing 
the work of generations of women before us who marched for full 
equality, and it is about finishing that journey so that the next 
generation will experience nothing other than full and fair rights 
under the law.
  I urge my colleagues to give our daughters that chance. Join us and 
pass this resolution.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Michigan (Mrs. Lawrence).
  Mrs. LAWRENCE. Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of 
removing this arbitrary time limit for ratifying the equal rights 
amendment.
  I ask all my colleagues: Are we going to tell our mothers, our 
sisters, daughters, nieces, and granddaughters that there is an 
expiration date on equality? I hope that answer is no.
  This pandemic has only worsened the inequality that women are facing, 
especially women of color. Making the equal rights amendment a part of 
our Constitution guarantees that men and women are truly treated equal 
under the law.
  Today, the House can send a clear message that we will not tolerate 
sexual discrimination, that gender equality should be the law of the 
land.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Florida (Ms. Wasserman Schultz).
  Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ. Madam Speaker, today, we confront one of 
America's lingering legacies of discrimination.
  At America's founding, women were intentionally left out of the 
Constitution and, as second-class citizens, we did not have the right 
to vote or own property.
  Today, we still receive less pay for the same work, and we face 
actual or imminent threats of violence and harassment daily.
  But the equal rights amendment rejects that.
  After over a century, the ERA is on the cusp of ratification, and we 
finally have a President who will make this long overdue provision of 
our Constitution a reality.

  Women's rights should not depend on which party is in power. These 
basic fundamental rights must be guaranteed. We must secure equality 
for women under the law, in the Constitution, and in our daily lives.
  If we want to hand a more perfect union over to our daughters--and I 
have two--this Women's History Month, let's seize the moment and end 
sex discrimination once and for all.
  I urge a ``yes'' vote on this resolution to remove the arbitrary and 
outdated deadline for ratifying the ERA.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Ms. DeLauro).
  Ms. DeLAURO. Madam Speaker, for nearly 50 years, our country has 
strived to make equal rights for women a foundational value in the 
United States Constitution through the equal rights amendment. Women 
deserve nothing less than equal treatment, whether it be equal pay for 
equal work, freedom from discrimination, freedom from sexual assault, 
or freedom from domestic violence. The equal rights amendment will help 
to fill those gaps.
  We now have enough States for that to become the law of the land. 
This resolution will help clear the path for this much-needed change, 
and I urge my colleagues to support this important resolution so that 
every woman and every girl can have equal justice under the law.
  I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle: What are you 
afraid of? Why? Why can you not affirm equal rights for women in the 
United States of America? It is not a hard mountain to climb. But it 
says every woman and every girl can have equal justice under the law.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, we are prepared to close.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Madam Speaker, I oppose H.J. Res. 17. I believe that the speakers we 
have had here today on our side have agreed with that and made very, 
very effective points on why to oppose this resolution.
  Men and women are already equal under the Constitution. This 
legislation would make us no more equal. It is merely a vehicle for the 
far-left's special interest groups to use to enact their pro-abortion 
agenda. It is unconstitutional. It is unnecessary. And it should not 
become law.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to oppose this resolution, and I 
yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, Alice Paul's equal rights amendment was introduced in 
both Houses of Congress way back in 1923. But 96 years later, the 
United States Constitution still does not explicitly declare that women 
have equal rights under the law.
  We are the only western democracy without such a clause in its 
Constitution. Today, we have an opportunity to rectify that glaring 
omission.
  The arbitrary deadline for ratification that Congress imposed, and 
later extended, can be just as easily removed, and that is all this 
legislation does. It can be just as easily removed, because it is not 
part of the amendment, as some of our Republican friends said.
  Every amendment since the 22nd Amendment, except for the 27th, has 
had such a clause. And if you look at the text of the Constitution, it 
is not there. That is because the deadline is part of the resolution 
proposing the constitutional amendment, not part of the constitutional 
amendment. If Congress can establish a deadline by resolution, it can 
certainly, by resolution, extend or change the deadline. That is all 
this resolution does.
  Adopting the ERA would bring our country closer to truly fulfilling 
values of inclusion and equal opportunity for all people. Adopting this 
legislation would help make this a reality.
  I urge all Members to support this resolution.
  Madam Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. 
Jackson Lee).
  (Ms. JACKSON LEE asked and was given permission to revise and extend 
her remarks.)
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, we have just been engaged in 
presenting to the public the Violence Against Women Act. But all of it 
stands on the shoulders of the equal rights amendment, which has been 
long overdue.
  What an amazing journey that this legislation has taken, and how sad 
it is to acknowledge that we are one of only a few nations that does 
not have an equal rights amendment in its constitution.
  I remember going to Afghanistan and working with the women of 
Afghanistan to include the rights of women in their Constitution. I 
want to say that again: To include the rights of women in their 
Constitution.
  So let me speak clearly to vital points of this resolution. This is 
not an abortion bill. However, we realize that the right to choose is 
embedded in the Constitution in the Ninth Amendment. But this is not 
that.
  It is a bill that says that women have a right, as Alice Paul said so 
many years ago, to be able to have rights of equality under this flag, 
under this Constitution. Are we suggesting that that should not be?
  In addition, let it be very clear that any court decision that was 
issued, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, that is, 
the Commonwealth of Virginia v. Ferriero, we can explain that case, 
because the Court said the only authority to extend the deadline was 
Congress, and here we are. Congress is now intending to extend that 
deadline.

[[Page H1426]]

  Nothing in the Constitution prohibits that. It is not embedded in the 
amendment. And by Article V, we are able to deal with deadlines. 
Deadlines are a simple process of statutory authority, and that is what 
we are doing today.
  I don't think my friends on the other side of the aisle want to leave 
without recognizing the fact that women make 80 cents for every $1 a 
man earns, and that they are treated unfairly in the workplace.
  If you want equal dignity, if you want the rights of women to be 
promoted, vote for the ERA.
  Madam Speaker, I strongly support H.J. Res. 17. H.J. Res. 17, 
introduced by Representative Jackie Speier with 209 co-sponsors, would 
take a critical step towards ensuring that the Equal Rights Amendment, 
or ``ERA'', becomes part of the Constitution.
  The resolution provides that notwithstanding the ratification 
deadline of 1979 that Congress set for the ERA and later extended to 
1982, the ERA ``shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of 
the Constitution whenever ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths 
of the several States.''
  The purpose of the ERA is simple and fundamental: It ensures that 
everyone is treated equally under the law, regardless of sex or gender. 
Almost one hundred years ago, Alice Paul, who helped lead the campaign 
to secure women's right to vote, proposed the first version of the ERA.
  She and her fellow suffragists knew that if women were to achieve 
true equality, our Nation's founding document needed to be amended to 
reflect that core principle. Nearly a century later, it is long past 
time to make that dream a reality.
  In 1971 and 1972, the House and Senate, respectively, passed the ERA 
by well more than the constitutionally-mandated two-thirds majority in 
each chamber.
  It contained these simple words: ``Equality of rights under the law 
shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on 
account of sex.'' In the years that quickly followed, dozens of States 
ratified the ERA through their legislatures.
  By the end of the 1970s, the ERA was just a few States short of full 
ratification. But then progress slowed, and the deadline Congress had 
set for ratification passed. A well-organized counter-movement scared 
the American people into thinking that a guarantee of equality would 
somehow harm women who stay at home to raise their children or would 
erode American families. What had started as a matter of broad 
consensus became another divisive wedge in the culture wars.
  Today we know better. We know that in the year 2021, it is 
unacceptable that women still make only 80 cents for every dollar men 
earn. We know that when women are treated with equal dignity and 
respect in the workplace, in the home, by our institutions of 
government, and in our society at large, all of the American people 
stand to benefit. And we know that a simple but fundamental guarantee 
of equality should be welcomed rather than feared.
  Thankfully, the momentum for ERA ratification has picked back up. 
Nevada ratified the ERA in 2017, and Illinois followed suit the next 
year. Then, in January 2020, Virginia made history and became the 38th 
State to pass a resolution ratifying the ERA. So long as these last 
three ratifications are valid, the ERA will become law.
  Unfortunately, a federal district court ruled two weeks ago that 
these states were too late because the ratification deadline that 
Congress set had expired already in 1982.
  Importantly, that court affirmed that Congress has the power to set 
ratifications deadlines, as Article V of the Constitution, which 
governs the constitutional amendment process, does not itself provide 
for ratification deadlines of any kind. Of course, the power to set 
deadlines necessarily includes the power to remove those deadlines.
  By removing the ratification deadline that Congress set previously, 
H.J. Res. 17 ensures that the recent ratifications by Nevada, Illinois, 
and Virginia are counted and that the ERA becomes part of our 
Constitution.
  We are on the verge of a breakthrough for equality in this country, 
despite all the obstacles in our current political and social climate. 
This resolution will ensure that no deadline stands in the way. 
Therefore, I strongly support H.J. Res. 17 and urge its passage by the 
House.
  Mr. NADLER. Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. JOHNSON of Texas. Madam Speaker, I rise today to offer my strong 
support for H.J. Res. 17, a resolution removing the time limit for 
ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
  Women in the United States make extraordinary contributions to our 
workforce and communities--and even more so in the face of the COVID-19 
pandemic. Yet, unfortunately, we remain unprotected under the law from 
discrimination. This long-overdue legislation will enshrine in our 
Constitution the principle of women's equality and explicitly prohibit 
discrimination based on sex.
  The Equal Rights Amendment states simply: ``equality of rights under 
the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any 
State on account of sex.'' And in this simple text is guaranteed the 
following:
  Avenues of legal recourse for people who face sex-based 
discrimination,
  Prompting of Supreme Court to consider cases of sex discrimination 
with rigorous standards, and
  The power for Congress to enact laws that ensure sex equality in all 
aspects of life.
  It is for these reasons, and many others not listed, that we must act 
to remove the arbitrary time limit for ratification and codify this 
Amendment.
  As a member of the Democratic Women's Caucus, I am steadfast in my 
commitment to advancing women's rights both in my district and across 
the nation. My tenure in Congress has been in part defined by my 
advocacy on behalf of women and their successes--but I stand on the 
shoulders of generations of heroines fighting for equality. It is in 
their honor that I support this legislation today.
  I urge my colleagues to support H.J. Res. 17.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, I include the following letters of 
endorsement for H.R. 1620, the Violence Against Women's Act (VAWA) into 
the Record.
  Letters are from: The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, The National Center on 
Violence Against Women in the Black Community, YWCA, End Sexual 
Violence, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National 
Congress of American Indians, LegalMomentum: The Women's Legal Defense 
and Education Fund, JWI, and Casa de Esperanza.

                                                    March 8, 2021.
     Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee,
     Hon. Brian Fitzpatrick,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairwoman Jackson Lee, Representative Fitzpatrick, 
     and Chairman Nadler: The National Coalition Against Domestic 
     Violence, (NCADV) applauds you for introducing the Violence 
     Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021. The Violence 
     Against Women Act (VAWA) is one of the three pillars of the 
     Federal response to domestic violence. First passed in 1994 
     under the leadership of then-Senator Biden, VAWA has been 
     reauthorized three times since then, most recently in 2013. 
     VAWA's authorization lapsed in 2018.
       Every reauthorization included critical updates to enhance 
     America's response to domestic violence and other forms of 
     gender-based violence. These enhancements reflect the 
     evolution of our understanding of the dynamics of violence 
     and the needs of impacted communities. The Violence Against 
     Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 is the successor bill to 
     these previous reauthorizations and is a slightly updated 
     version of the H.R. 1585/S. 2843, the Violence Against Women 
     Reauthorization Act of 2019, which passed the House of 
     Representatives with strong bipartisan support before dying 
     in the Senate.
       Like its predecessor, the updated 2021 bill invests in 
     prevention; keeps guns out of the hands of adjudicated dating 
     abusers and stalkers; promotes survivors' economic stability; 
     ends impunity for non Natives who commit gender-based 
     violence on Tribal lands by expanding special tribal criminal 
     jurisdiction beyond domestic violence; and increases 
     survivors' access to safe housing. The Violence Against Women 
     Reauthorization Act of 2021 also recognizes the disparate 
     impact of gender-based violence on communities of color due 
     to systemic racism and increases funding for culturally 
     specific organizations serving these communities. The 
     Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 expands 
     VAWA's life-saving provisions to increase access to safety 
     and justice for all survivors.
       It is particularly critical to reauthorize and improve VAWA 
     as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent 
     survey of domestic violence programs, 84% reported that 
     intimate partner violence has increased in their community 
     during the pandemic. Fifty percent reported the use of 
     firearms. against intimate partners has increased, and one-
     third reported intimate partner homicides have increased in 
     their communities. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization 
     Act of 2021 responds to the needs of survivors and supports 
     the programs that serve them.
       We thank you, again, for your leadership, and we urge the 
     House to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act 
     of 2021 as a matter of upmost urgency.
           Sincerely,
       The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

[[Page H1427]]

     
                                  ____
                                          National Resource Center


                                         on Domestic Violence,

                                    Harrisburg, PA, March 8, 2021.
     Hon. Jerry Nadler,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Brian Fitzpatrick,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representatives Nadler, Jackson Lee and Fitzpatrick: 
     On behalf of the National Resource Center on Domestic 
     Violence, which has worked since 1993 to strengthen and 
     transform efforts to end domestic violence, I am writing to 
     express our support for the Reauthorization of the Violence 
     Against Women Act (VAWA) of 2021 and our gratitude for your 
     leadership in ensuring that survivors are able to access 
     lifesaving programs and services.
       With each reauthorization of VAWA, Congress has made 
     important steps forward to better address the needs of 
     survivors and communities. Based on extensive conversations 
     with and feedback from local programs and advocates about 
     current strengths and disparities in VAWA, we--along with our 
     partners in the domestic and sexual violence movements--
     recommended several key enhancements to the current statute. 
     We are very pleased that your legislation includes the 
     targeted improvements that programs across the country need 
     to do their jobs and support survivors.
       According to the Centers for Disease Control's National 
     Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), 1 in 4 
     women and 1 in 9 men are the victim of physical violence, 
     contact sexual violence and/or stalking by an intimate 
     partner and experience negative impacts such as injury, fear, 
     concern for safety, or a need for services. In just one day 
     in 2019, 77,226 domestic violence victims and their children 
     received services at a local program in their community, 
     including emergency shelter, transitional housing, 
     counseling, legal advocacy, and children's support groups. 
     However, on that same day, 11,336 requests for services went 
     unmet because programs lacked the resources to meet victims' 
     needs. Of those unmet requests for services, 68% were for 
     housing. Indeed, safe housing is among the most pressing 
     concerns for survivors who have left or are planning to leave 
     an abusive relationship. Thirty-eight (38) percent of all 
     domestic violence victims become homeless at some point in 
     their lives. And among mothers with children experiencing 
     homelessness, more than 80 percent had previously experienced 
     domestic violence. We are particularly grateful that your 
     legislation would strengthen protections for survivors in 
     public housing, including by ensuring that survivors can 
     transfer units when necessary for safety reasons, as well as 
     other housing protections that are critical for survivors 
     seeking safety and stability.
       We are also supportive of other key proposals in your 
     legislation, including:
       Supporting Communities of Color;
       Investing in prevention;
       Ending impunity for non-Native perpetrators of sexual 
     assault, child abuse co-occurring with domestic violence, 
     stalking, sex trafficking, and assaults on tribal law 
     enforcement officers on tribal lands;
       Improving enforcement of court orders that require 
     adjudicated domestic abusers to relinquish their firearms;
       Improving access to housing for victims and survivors;
       Protecting victims of dating violence from firearm 
     homicide;
       Helping survivors gain and maintain economic independence;
       Updating the federal definition of domestic violence for 
     the purposes of VAWA grants only to acknowledge the full 
     range of abuse victims suffer (does not impact the criminal 
     definition of domestic violence);
       Maintaining existing protections for all survivors; and
       Improving the healthcare system's response to domestic 
     violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
       Again, thank you for championing the needs of victims and 
     survivors and for supporting the work of domestic and sexual 
     violence programs across the country. We look forward to 
     continuing to work with you and your colleagues in Congress 
     to ensure bipartisan support for VAWA 2021 and to pass 
     legislation that will provide needed services and supports to 
     survivors and their families and communities.
           Sincerely,
                                             Farzana Q. Safiullah,
     Chief Executive Officer.
                                  ____

         The National Center on Vlolence Against Women in the 
           Black Community,
                                   Washington, DC, March 10, 2021.
     Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee,
     US. House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Brian Fitzpatrick,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representatives Jackson Lee, Fitzpatrick, and Nadler: 
     Ujima Inc., The National Center on Violence Against Women in 
     the Black Community (Ujima, Inc.) is pleased to support H.R. 
     1620, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization 
     Act of 2021. Ujima, Inc. is a national Culturally Specific 
     Services Issue Resource Center that mobilizes the Black 
     community and allies through its education and outreach; 
     training and technical assistance; resource development; 
     research; and public policy efforts. We work with local, 
     state, and national partners to promote strategies to improve 
     responses to Black survivors of domestic violence, sexual 
     assault, and community violence. We appreciated the 
     opportunity to give voice to the needs of Black survivors 
     during the collaborative process of H.R. 1585 and we are 
     encouraged to see the enhancements in H.R. 1620 as COVID-19, 
     racial justice movements, and economic strife have presented 
     complex challenges for those we serve since the passage of 
     H.R. 1585 in 2019.
       Since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has made 
     significant shifts in the cultural and legal landscape for 
     prevention and intervention strategies to address gender-
     based violence. Specialized courts, prosecution units, law 
     enforcement departments, community-based programs, 
     coordinated community responses, and discretionary grant 
     funding for innovate solutions have been the central tenets 
     of ground-breaking legislation to save lives. However, Black 
     women still experience the highest rates of homicide related 
     to intimate partner violence compared to other racial and 
     ethnic populations. In 2018, Black females were murdered by 
     males at a rate nearlv three times higher than white females. 
     Despite the prevalence of domestic violence, Black survivors 
     are less likely to seek help from systems-based stakeholders 
     because institutional bias coupled with racial loyalty/
     collectivism directly impact how she perceives, reacts to, 
     and reports violence in her life. Institutionalized and 
     internalized oppression at the intersections of race and 
     gender have created the foundation for unrecognized, 
     unaddressed trauma and violence in the lives of Black women 
     and they have been denied adequate resources and access to 
     legal systems, funding, crisis services, and other programs.
       Thank you for not only hearing the needs of Black 
     survivors, but also addressing them in H.R. 1620 which 
     provides measured enhancements for the bipartisan support and 
     passage of such critical provisions as strengthening and 
     enforcing public housing protections, improving access to 
     healthcare options, expanding civil legal representation, 
     promoting firearm surrender protocols, reducing bench 
     warrants for victims who fear to appear in court, creating 
     restorative practices that are solutions-based, expanding 
     tribal sovereignty over specific crimes committed by non-
     Native perpetrators, and prioritizing sexual assault 
     prevention to ameliorate intervention.
       Additionally, the following provisions will greatly improve 
     services for Black survivors and we deeply appreciate the 
     inclusion of: a $40 million authorization for the Culturally 
     Specific Services Program; economic justice programs that 
     include access to unemployment insurance; and protections for 
     all survivors accessing services thereby preventing 
     discrimination.
       Thank you for your unyielding and tireless efforts and 
     bringing the margins to the center to ensure that VAWA, after 
     twenty-seven years, continues to prioritize the safety of 
     survivors and hold perpetrators accountable in a way that is 
     survivor-centered, honors self-determination, and reduces re-
     victimization by systems. We are deeply moved by your 
     commitment to social change that promotes access to services 
     and justice for all people, and we embrace the opportunity to 
     stand with you.
       We are available to assist you at any time to facilitate 
     the passage of this landmark bipartisan bill that is the 
     hallmark of our work.
           Respectfully,
                                                    Karma Cottman,
                                               Executive Director.


                                                         YWCA,

                                   Washington, DC, March 12, 2021.
       Dear Member of Congress: On behalf of YWCA USA, a network 
     of over 200 local associations in 45 states and the District 
     of Columbia, I write today to urge you to pass the Violence 
     Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2021 (H.R. 1620). 
     As identified in YWCA's Legislative Priorities for the 117th 
     Congress, YWCA is committed to the swift passage of VAWA in 
     the first 100 days of the new legislative session. We urge 
     you to vote yes and support strengthening services for 
     survivors and their children.
       For over 160 years, YWCA has been on a mission to eliminate 
     racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, 
     and dignity for all. Today, we serve over 2 million women, 
     girls and family members of all ages and backgrounds in more 
     than 1,200 communities. As the largest network of domestic 
     and sexual violence service providers, over 150 YWCAs across 
     44 states remain on the front lines providing gender-based 
     violence services. We are proud of our staff and volunteers 
     in providing these life-saving services. YWCAs get up and do 
     the work of providing safe and secure housing, crisis 
     hotlines, counseling, court assistance, and other community 
     and safety programs to more than 535,000 women, children, and 
     families each year.
       Informed by our extensive history, the expertise of our 
     nationwide network, and our collective commitment to meeting 
     the needs of survivors and their families, we have seen 
     first-hand the importance of maintaining protections for all 
     survivors in the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This bill 
     works

[[Page H1428]]

     to maintain the safety, resources, and protections critical 
     to all survivors, particularly women of color and other 
     marginalized communities. Of particular importance, VAWA 
     includes the following YWCA supported provisions critical to 
     survlvors:
       Improves services for victims by reauthoring programs 
     administered by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. 
     Health and Human Services to prevent and address domestic 
     violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking 
     while preserving and expanding housing protections for 
     survivors;
       Increases authorization levels for response and wrap-around 
     services especially important following a year of increased 
     strain on existing providers due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
       Invests in prevention through increased funding for 
     programs such as the Consolidated Youth grants which support 
     engaging men and boys as allies and addressing children 
     exposed to violence and trauma with specialized services. 
     This bill also provides support to State-level health 
     programs to partner with domestic and sexual violence 
     organizations to improve healthcare providers' ability to 
     work with advocates, help victims, and strengthen prevention 
     programs;
       Closes loopholes by improving enforcement of current 
     federal domestic violence-related firearms laws and close 
     loopholes to reduce firearm-involved abuse and intimate 
     partner homicide, which has received bipartisan support;
       Increases funding for culturally-specific service providers 
     and increases authorization levels to hold current providers 
     harmless;
       Improves the economic security of survivors by expanding 
     eligibility for unemployment insurance, strengthening 
     protections against discrimination in employment based on 
     survivor status, and increasing education on economic abuse 
     and economic security related to survivors.
       Immediate action by Congress is needed as the COVID-19 
     pandemic continues to put a strain on resources and the 
     demand for assistance continues to rise with this silent 
     epidemic. Survivors cannot wait another day for the critical 
     protections identified in the Violence Against Women 
     Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2021. We urge you to vote yes 
     on this critical bill.
       Thank you for your time and consideration. Please contact 
     Pam Yuen, YWCA USA Director of Government Relations if you 
     have any questions.
           Sincerely,
                                               Catherine V. Beane,
     Vice President of Public Policy & Advocacy.
                                  ____

                                              National Alliance to


                                          End Sexual Violence,

                                                    March 4, 2021.
     Hon Sheila Jackson Lee,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Brian Fitzpatrick,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representatives Jackson Lee and Fitzpatrick: On behalf 
     of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) 
     representing 56 state and territorial sexual assault 
     coalitions and more than 1500 local rape crisis centers, I am 
     writing to convey our wholehearted support for the Violence 
     Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2021 reauthorizing 
     and improving the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and our 
     gratitude for your willingness to move forward to ensure we 
     renew VAWA as swiftly as possible.
       With each iteration of VAWA, Congress goes the next step to 
     address the needs of survivors and communities. Based on 
     extensive conversations with local programs and advocates, we 
     brought forward several key enhancements, and we are very 
     pleased that your legislation includes many of these. From an 
     increased investment in sexual violence services and 
     prevention programs and culturally specific organizations 
     that serve communities of color to provisions to hold 
     offenders accountable on tribal lands to efforts to make our 
     criminal justice system more responsive to the needs of 
     victims, this legislation includes the realistic policies our 
     programs need to do their jobs.
       According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual 
     Violence Survey, one in five women has been the victim of 
     rape or attempted rape. Nearly one in two women has 
     experienced some form of sexual violence and one in five men 
     has experienced a form of sexual violence other than rape in 
     their lifetime. The study confirmed that the impacts on 
     society are enormous. Over 80% of women who were victimized 
     experienced significant short and long-term impacts related 
     to the violence such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder 
     (PTSD), injury (42%) and missed time at work or school (28%). 
     The CDC report shows that most rape and partner violence is 
     experienced before the age of 24, highlighting the importance 
     of preventing this violence before it occurs.
       High profile cases of sexual assault on campuses, our 
     military bases, military academies, and professional sports 
     have resulted in unprecedented media attention. This has also 
     resulted in a tremendous increase in sexual assault survivors 
     seeking assistance from local rape crisis centers and 
     educators as well as community organizations requesting 
     prevention and training services. The media attention also 
     points to the need for comprehensive community responses to 
     sexual violence. According to data from a 2020 survey 
     conducted by NAESV, 62% of local sexual assault programs have 
     a waiting list, sometimes months long, for counseling 
     services and 35% lack a full time sexual assault therapist on 
     staff.
       For these reasons, we are incredibly grateful that your 
     legislation increases the authorizations for the Sexual 
     Assault Services Program and the Rape Prevention and 
     Education Program. The local programs in our network see 
     every day the widespread and devastating consequences of 
     sexual violence, and this additional funding will help them 
     respond to community requests for services and prevention 
     education.
       Of deep concern to NAESV, tribal governments are currently 
     unable to prosecute crimes of sexual assault, trafficking, 
     child abuse, and stalking by non-native offenders on their 
     lands. A 2016 study from the National Institute for Justice 
     (NIJ), found that approximately 56% of Native women 
     experience sexual violence within their lifetime, with 1 in 7 
     experiencing it in the past year. Nearly 1 in 2 report being 
     stalked. Contrary to the general population where rape, 
     sexual assault, and intimate partner violence are usually 
     intra-racial, Native women are more likely to be raped or 
     assaulted by someone of a different race. 96% of Native women 
     and 89% of male victims in the NIJ study reported being 
     victimized by a non-Indian. Native victims of sexual violence 
     are three times as likely to have experienced sexual violence 
     by an interracial perpetrator as non-Hispanic White victims. 
     Similarly, Native stalking victims are nearly 4 times as. 
     likely to be stalked by someone of a different race, with 89% 
     of female stalking victims and 90% of male stalking victims 
     reporting inter-racial victimization. The higher rate of 
     inter-racial violence would not necessarily be significant if 
     It were not for the jurisdictional complexities unique to 
     Indian Country and the limitations imposed by federal law on 
     tribal authority to hold non-Indians accountable for crimes 
     they commit on tribal lands.
       We stand with you in affirming tribes' sovereignty to 
     prosecute non-native offenders of sexual assault, child 
     abuse, trafficking and stalking. VAWA 2013 restored the 
     authority of Tribes to arrest and prosecute offenders, 
     regardless of their race, for acts of domestic violence 
     committed within the boundaries of their jurisdiction. Since 
     enactment, at least 16 Tribes have undertaken the steps to 
     exercise the special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction 
     {SDVCJ) restored by VAWA 2013--leading to over 120 arrests. 
     Tribal victims deserve justice, and we fully support these 
     provisions.
       Many survivors of sexual assault, abuse, and harassment 
     have housing needs. For some survivors, home may not be a 
     safe place and they may need to leave due to sexual violence 
     they are experiencing in their home that is perpetrated by a 
     household member, landlord, or neighbor. Other survivors may 
     need to find safe housing to heal and lessen the effects of 
     sexual violence they have experienced either in their home or 
     they may need to find new housing if the perpetrator knows 
     where they live to stay safe. VAWA includes important 
     protections for survivors of sexual assault in public 
     housing, and these provisions are a critical part of the 
     safety net for survivors.
       We are very pleased to support your vital legislation that 
     moves us forward in our work to end sexual violence. Please 
     contact our Policy Director, Terri Poore, with any questions.
           Sincerely,
                                            Monika Johnson Hostler
     President.
                                  ____

                                                    March 8, 2021.
     Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Brian Fitzpatrick,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairwoman Jackson Lee, Representative Fitzpatrick, 
     and Chairman Nadler: The National Coalition Against Domestic 
     Violence (NCADV) applauds you for introducing the Violence 
     Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021. The Violence 
     Against Women Act (VAWA) is one of the three pillars of the 
     Federal response to domestic violence. First passed in 1994 
     under the leadership of then-Senator Biden, VAWA has been 
     reauthorized three times since then, most recently in 2013. 
     VAWA's authorization lapsed in 2018.
       Every reauthorization included critical updates to enhance 
     America's response to domestic violence and other forms of 
     gender-based violence. These enhancements reflect the 
     evolution of our understanding of the dynamics of violence 
     and the needs of impacted communities. The Violence Against 
     Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 is the successor bill to 
     these previous reauthorizations and is a slightly updated 
     version of the H.R. 1585/S. 2843, the Violence Against Women 
     Reauthorization Act of 2019, which passed the House of 
     Representatives with strong bipartisan support before dying 
     in the Senate.
       Like its predecessor, the updated 2021 bill invests in 
     prevention; keeps guns out of the hands of adjudicated dating 
     abusers and stalkers; promotes survivors' economic stability; 
     ends impunity for non-Natives who commit gender-based 
     violence on Tribal lands by expanding special tribal criminal 
     jurisdiction beyond domestic violence; and

[[Page H1429]]

     increases survivors' access to safe housing. The Violence 
     Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 also recognizes the 
     disparate impact of gender-based violence on communities of 
     color due to systemic racism and Increases funding for 
     culturally specific organizations serving these communities. 
     The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 
     expands VAWA's life-saving provisions to increase access to 
     safety and justice for all survivors.
       It is particularly critical to reauthorize and improve VAWA 
     as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent 
     survey of domestic violence programs, 84% reported that 
     intimate partner violence has increased in their community 
     during the pandemic. Fifty percent reported the use of 
     firearms against intimate partners has increased, and one-
     third reported intimate partner homicides have increased in 
     their communities. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization 
     Act of 2021 responds to the needs of survivors and supports 
     the programs that serve them.
       We thank you, again, for your leadership, and we urge the 
     House to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act 
     of 2021 as a matter of upmost urgency.
           Sincerely,
       The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
                                  ____

                                              National Congress of


                                             American Indians,

                                   Washington, DC, March 16, 2021.
     Re: Support for Passage of HR 1620, the Violence Against 
         Women Reauthorization Act of 2021.

     Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Brian Fitzpatrick,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Jackson Lee and Representative 
     Fitzpatrick: I am writing on behalf of the National Congress 
     of American Indians (NCAI), the nation's oldest and largest 
     organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal 
     governments, to thank you for your leadership in introducing 
     HR 1620, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act 
     (VAWA) of 2021, and to convey our support for your efforts. 
     NCAI has been actively involved in the development of the 
     tribal provisions of VAWA in each of the past 
     reauthorizations of the bill. Each time VAWA has been 
     reauthorized, it has included important provisions aimed at 
     improving safety and justice for Native women.
       In 2019, NCAI adopted resolution ECWS-19-005 (attached), 
     which sets forth five priorities for reauthorization of the 
     Violence Against Women Act:
       (1) include provisions, like those included in the 
     bipartisan Native Youth and Tribal Officer Protection Act and 
     Justice for Native Survivors of Sexual Violence Act, that 
     amend 25 U.S.C. 1304 to address jurisdictional gaps 
     including: child abuse and endangerment; assaults against law 
     enforcement officers; sexual violence; stalking; trafficking; 
     and the exclusion of certain tribes from the law;
       (2) create a permanent authorization for DOJ's Tribal 
     Access to National Crime Information Program and ensure that 
     TAP is available to all tribes;
       (3) improve the response to cases of missing and murdered 
     women in tribal communities;
       (4) identify and address the unique barriers to safety for 
     Alaska Native women and provide access to all programs; and
       (5) reauthorize VAWA's tribal grant programs and ensure 
     that funding is available to cover costs incurred by tribes 
     who are exercising jurisdiction pursuant to 25 U.S.C. 1304.
       We are pleased to see that your legislation continues to 
     build on VAWA's promise and includes the key priorities that 
     have been identified by tribal governments and advocates to 
     further enhance safety for victims in tribal communities.
       As you know, tribal communities continue to be plagued by 
     the highest crime victimization rates in the country. A 
     recent study by the National Institute of Justice found that 
     over 80% of Native Americans will be a victim of intimate 
     partner violence, sexual violence, or stalking in their 
     lifetime. The study also found that 90% of these victims were 
     victimized by a non-Indian perpetrator. Sadly, Native 
     children are particularly affected by this violence. Native 
     children are 50% more likely to experience child abuse and 
     sexual abuse than white children. The complicated 
     jurisdictional framework at play in Indian Country continues 
     to undermine safety for victims of violence in tribal 
     communities.
       Eight years ago, when Congress passed VAWA 2013, it 
     included a provision, known as Special Domestic Violence 
     Criminal Jurisdiction (SDVCJ), that reaffirmed the inherent 
     sovereign authority of Indian tribal governments to exercise 
     criminal jurisdiction over certain non-Indians who violate 
     qualifying protection orders or commit domestic or dating 
     violence against Indian victims on tribal lands. Since 
     passage of VAWA 2013, we have witnessed the ways in which 
     tribal jurisdiction has transformed access to justice for 
     some domestic violence victims, and also the ways in which it 
     falls short for victims of sexual violence, stalking, 
     trafficking, and child abuse. We welcome introduction of your 
     bill, which would address many of the gaps in the existing 
     law and make important strides toward restoring public safety 
     and justice on tribal lands.
       We are particularly grateful that your legislation 
     recognizes that Native children are equally in need of the 
     protections that were extended to adult domestic violence 
     victims in VAWA 2013. The Tribal Nations implementing SDVCJ 
     report that children have been involved as victims or 
     witnesses in SDVCJ cases nearly 60% of the time. These 
     children have been assaulted or have faced physical 
     intimidation and threats, are living in fear, and are at risk 
     for developing school-related problems, medical illnesses, 
     post-traumatic stress disorder, and other impairments. 
     However, federal law currently limits SDVCJ to crimes 
     committed only against intimate partners or persons covered 
     by a qualifying protection order. The common scenario 
     reported by Tribal Nations is that they are only able to 
     charge a non-Indian batterer for violence against the mother, 
     and can do nothing about violence against the children. Your 
     bill would change that.
       Your bill will also make strides in improving the 
     coordination and collaboration between tribal, local, and 
     federal jurisdictions, particularly with regard to criminal 
     justice information sharing. These reforms are desperately 
     needed and will make a real difference for victims of crime 
     in Indian Country. We look forward to continuing this 
     important work with your offices and thank you for your 
     commitment to tribal communities.
           Thank you,
                                                       Fawn Sharp,
     President.
                                  ____


   The National Congress of American Indians Resolution #ECWS-19-005

     Urging Congress to Pass a Long-term Reauthorization of the 
         Violence Against Women Act that Includes Key Protections 
         for Native Women
       Whereas, we, the members of the National Congress of 
     American Indians of the United States, invoking the divine 
     blessing of the Creator upon our efforts and purposes, in 
     order to preserve for ourselves and our descendants the 
     inherent sovereign rights of our Indian nations, rights 
     secured under Indian treaties and agreements with the United 
     States, and all other rights and benefits to which we are 
     entitled under the laws and Constitution of the United States 
     and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of 
     Indigenous Peoples, to enlighten the public toward a better 
     understanding of the Indian people, to preserve Indian 
     cultural values, and otherwise promote the health, safety and 
     welfare of the Indian people, do hereby establish and submit 
     the following resolution; and
       Whereas, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) 
     was established in 1944 and is the oldest and largest 
     national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native 
     tribal governments; and
       Whereas, NCAI resolution STP-00-081 established the NCAI 
     Task Force on Violence Against Native Women, which has worked 
     since that time to identify needed policy reforms at the 
     tribal and federal levels, including in the Violence Against 
     Women Act (VAWA);
       Whereas, VAWA was first passed in 1994, reauthorized in 
     2000, again in 2005, and 2013 and each of these bills 
     included important provisions aimed at improving safety and 
     justice for Native women;
       Whereas, the last long-term reauthorization of VAWA expired 
     on September 30, 2018 and Congress has passed a series of 
     short-term extensions that leave VAWA currently scheduled to 
     expire on February 15, 2019;
       Whereas, Native communities continue to experience high 
     levels of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, 
     stalking, murder, and trafficking, many of these crimes are 
     committed by non-Indians, and there is a need to amend 
     federal law to improve access to justice and safety for 
     victims in tribal communities;
       Whereas, VAWA 2013 included a provision that reaffirmed the 
     inherent sovereign authority of Indian tribal governments to 
     exercise criminal jurisdiction over certain non-Indians who 
     violate qualifying protection orders or commit domestic or 
     dating violence against Indian victims on tribal lands;
       Whereas, by exercising jurisdiction over non-Indian 
     domestic violence offenders many tribal communities have 
     increased safety and justice for victims who had previously 
     seen little of either;
       Whereas, the Department of Justice (DOJ) testified before 
     the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in 2016 that VAWA 2013 
     has allowed tribes to ``respond to long-time abusers who 
     previously had evaded justice,'' but that there are 
     significant additional gaps that need to be addressed;
       Whereas, the tribes implementing VAWA 2013 report that 
     children have been involved as victims or witnesses in their 
     cases nearly 60% of the time and federal law prevents tnbal 
     courts from holding non-Indian offenders accountable for 
     these crimes;
       Whereas, according to DOJ, American Indian and Alaska 
     Native children suffer exposure to violencci at rates higher 
     than any other race in the United States, and this violence 
     has immediate and long term effects,

[[Page H1430]]

     including: increased rates of altered neurological 
     development; poor physical and mental health; poor school 
     performance; substance abuse; and overrepresentation in the 
     juvenile justice system;
       Whereas, a 2016 report from the National Institute for 
     Justice (NIJ) confirmed that 56% of Native omen experience 
     sexual violence within their lifetime and nearly 1 in 2 
     report being stalked;
       Whereas, according to NIJ Native victims of sexual violence 
     are three times as likely to have experienced sexual violence 
     by an interracial perpetrator as non-Hispanic White victims 
     and Native stalking victims are nearly 4 times as likely to 
     be stalked by someone of a different race, but federal law 
     prevents tribal courts from holding non-Indian offenders 
     accountable for these crimes;
       Whereas, VAWA 2005 included. a provision directing the 
     Attorney General to permit Indian tribes to enter information 
     into and obtain information from federal criminal information 
     databases;
       Whereas, in 2015 DOJ announced the Tribal Access Program 
     for National Crime Information (TAP), which provides eligible 
     tribes with access to the Criminal Justice Information 
     Services systems;
       Whereas, there has never been funding authorized for the 
     TAP program and some tribes report that they are unable to 
     access the program;
       Whereas, on some reservations, American Indian and Alaska 
     Native women are murdered at more than 10 times the national 
     average;
       Whereas, in many cases, law enforcement has failed to 
     adequately respond to cases of missing arid murdered American 
     Indian and Alaska Native women, leaving family members to 
     organize their own searches and community marches for justice 
     and without access to support or services; and
       Whereas, Alaska Native women experience some of the highest 
     rates of violence in the country and geographical remoteness, 
     extreme weather, the lack of transportation infrastructure, 
     and unique jurisdictional complexities present unique 
     challenges to Native women's safety;
       Whereas, certain tribes subject to restrictive settlement 
     acts have not been able to implement the tribal jurisdiction 
     provision of VAWA 2013.
       Now therefore be it resolved, that NCAI calls on Congress 
     to move swiftly to pass a long-term reauthorization of VAWA 
     that will:
       Include provisions like those included in the Native Youth 
     and Tribal Officer Protection Act and Justice. for Native 
     Survivors of Sexual Violence Act that amend 25 USC 1304 to 
     address jurisdictional gaps including: child abuse and 
     endangerment; assaults against law enforcement officers; 
     sexual violence; stalking; trafficking; and the exclusion of 
     certain tribes from the law;
       Create a perment authorization for DOJ's Tribal Access to 
     National Crime Information Program and ensure that TAP is 
     available to all tribes;
       Improve the response to and classification of incidents of 
     missing and murdered Indian women consistent with NCAI 
     Resolution PHX-16-077;
       Identify and address the unique barriers to safety for 
     Alaska Native women, based upon meaningful findings, and 
     provide access to all programs; and
       Reauthorize VAWA's tribal grant programs and ensure that 
     funding is available to cover costs incurred by tribes who 
     are exercising jurisdiction pursuant to VAWA;
       Be it further resolved, that NCAI will oppose any VAWA 
     reauthorization bill that undermines tribal sovereignty, 
     unfairly penalizes tribes in accessing federal funds, or that 
     diminishes tribal inherent authority to define and address 
     crimes of domestic or dating violence, sexual violence, 
     stalking, or trafficking; and
       Be it finally resolved, resolution shall be the policy of 
     NCAI until it is withdrawn or modified by subsequent 
     resolution.


                             certification

       The foregoing resolution was adopted by the Executive 
     Committee at the Executive Council Winter Session of the 
     National Congress of American Indians, held at the Capital 
     Hilton, February 12, 2019, with a quorum present.
           Attest:
     Juana Majel Dixon,
       Recording Secretary.
     Jefferson Keel,
       President.
                                  ____

         LEGAL MOMENTUM--The Women's Legal Defense and Education 
           Fund,
                                          New York, March 8, 2021.
     Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Brian Fitzpatrick,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative Jackson Lee and Representative 
     Fitzpatrick: Legal Momentum, the Women's Legal Defense and 
     Education Fund commends you for introducing the Violence 
     Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021. Legal Momentum is 
     the nation's first and longest-serving advocacy organization 
     dedicated to advancing gender equality. We make these 
     advancements through targeted litigation, innovative public 
     policy, and education. Preventing and responding to gender-
     based violence is a core pillar of Legal Momentum's work, in 
     recognition of the fact that freedom from violence is central 
     to achieving true equality.
       Legal Momentum is proud to have been closely involved in 
     developing the landmark bipartisan legislation that became 
     the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994. Our 
     organization played a critical role in drafting and 
     advocating for VAWA's passage, beginning this effort with 
     then-Senator Joe Biden in 1990. We have since worked in 
     coalition with the National Task Force to End Sexual and 
     Domestic Violence to see enhanced services and protections 
     included in each.reauthorization of VAWA, each of which had 
     bipartisan support. Legal Momentum is grateful to you for 
     your dedication to reauthorizing VAWA-in a way that responds 
     to the needs of all those affected by gender-based violence.
       The updates to the existing Violence Against Women Act that 
     are included in your bill reflect the real needs of victims 
     and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual 
     assault, and stalking. In particular, we are pleased that 
     this reauthorization of VAWA meets the needs of communities 
     of color. We applaud your commitment to pass a bipartisan 
     reauthorization of this critical legislation. We support 
     introducing the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 
     2021 and hope that your colleagues across the political 
     spectrum will recognize the importance of these enhancements 
     and join in supporting it.
       Thank you for your leadership and dedication to protecting 
     victims and survivors.
           Sincerely,
                                        Lynn Hecht Schafran, Esq.,
     Senior Vice President.
                                  ____



                                                          JWI,

                                    Washington, DC, March 8, 2021.
     Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
     Hon. Brian Fitzpatrick,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairwoman Jackson Lee, Representative Fitzpatrick, 
     and Chairman Nadler: Jewish Women International (JWI), the 
     leading Jewish organization working to end gender-based 
     violence, applauds your steadfast dedication and leadership 
     in introducing the bipartisan Violence Against Women 
     Reauthorization Act of 2021 (H.R. 1620).
       As a Steering Committee member of the National Task Force 
     to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, convener of the 
     Interfaith Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and 
     Clergy Task Force to End Domestic Abuse in the Jewish 
     Community, and co-chair of Faiths United to Prevent Gun 
     Violence, JWI supports this bill that builds on VAWA's 
     previous successes and adds key enhancements to ensure the 
     safety of victims of domestic violence, dating violence, 
     sexual assault, and stalking.
       The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is our nation's 
     single most effective tool in responding to the devastating 
     crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, 
     and stalking--providing lifesaving programs and services. 
     Since its initial passage, VAWA has dramatically enhanced and 
     improved our nation's response to violence against women. 
     VAWA is essential in the funding of programs and services 
     that survivors rely on every day. This commonsense 
     legislation protects victims and survivors, helps save lives, 
     and makes our communities safer places to worship, heal, and 
     thrive.
       Even with all of the advancements in the last twenty-seven 
     years, there is still a tremendous amount of work that 
     remains. One third of all women (nearly 52 million women) in 
     the United States have been victims of physical violence by 
     an intimate partner. In 2016 alone, there were 1.1 million 
     domestic violence victimizations, 54% of which involved 
     domestic partners. The Department of Justice's Criminal 
     Victimization 2016 Bulletin found that more than 10% of all 
     violent crime is due to intimate partner violence.
       The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 
     responds to the urgent issues survivors face every day by 
     supporting programming to prevent gender-based violence, 
     closing Tribal and firearms loopholes to protect all 
     survivors, strengthening public housing protections for 
     survivors, expanding the ability of providers to respond to 
     sexual harassment, and prioritizing support for Communities 
     of Color.
       JWI and our 75,000 members and supporters greatly 
     appreciate your dedication and leadership in advancing the 
     critical mission of passing a targeted bill that will have a 
     broad impact on all survivors. Congress now has an 
     opportunity to come together and pass meaningful legislation 
     to help save the lives of victims of gender-based violence--
     we are grateful that you are spearheading this effort.
       Thank you again for being tireless champions of survivors.
           Sincerely,
                                                  Meredith Jacobs,
                                                          JWI CEO.

[[Page H1431]]

     
                                  ____
                                            Casa de Esperanza,

                                                    March 8, 2021.
     Hon. Jerrold Nadler,
     Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee,
     Hon. Brian Fitzpatrick,
     House of Representatives,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representatives Nadler, Jackson Lee and Fitzpatrick: I 
     am writing on behalf of Casa de Esperanza: National [email protected] 
     Network for Healthy Families and Communities to convey our 
     support of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 
     2021 (VAWA Reauthorization, H.R. 1620). We greatly appreciate 
     your leadership and effort to fulfil the promise of the 
     landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994.
       Casa de Esperanza was founded in 1982 in Minnesota to 
     provide emergency shelter and support services for women and 
     children experiencing domestic violence. In 2009, Casa de 
     Esperanza launched the National [email protected] Network for Healthy 
     Families and Communities, which is a national resource center 
     that provides training & technical assistance, research, and 
     policy advocacy on addressing and preventing gender-based 
     violence in [email protected] communities. Through offering direct 
     services in Minnesota and nationwide advocacy, we are very 
     aware of the critical role that VAWA has played in enhancing 
     access to services, safety, and justice for all survivors.
       VAWA Reauthorization is a necessary part of our nation's 
     commitment to ending gender-based violence. It includes 
     narrowly focused, yet critical, enhancements to address gaps 
     identified by survivors and direct service providers. Among 
     many provisions, the measure maintains vital protections for 
     all survivors, invests in prevention, improves access to safe 
     housing and economic independence, and includes long overdue 
     funding for culturally specific communities.
       Since the enactment of VAWA in 1994 and during each 
     subsequent reauthorization of VAWA in 2000, 2005, and 2013, 
     Congress has continued to support and improve protections for 
     survivors in a bipartisan manner. During this time in which 
     we are experiencing the dual crises of the Coronavirus and 
     gender-based violence, we are reminded of the fragility of 
     life. It is not now or ever acceptable to merely maintain the 
     status quo, let alone undermine current protections and 
     reduce access to safety and justice for victims and 
     survivors, particularly those from vulnerable communities 
     which also have been more deeply impacted by the COVID-19 
     pandemic.
       In addition to ensuring important pathways to safety, 
     justice, and well-being for all survivors, H.R. 1620 includes 
     important enhancements that improve access to intervention 
     and prevention services. We are enthusiastic about the 
     funding for legal and housing services that are life-saving 
     resources for survivors of domestic and sexual violence. We 
     are also very encouraged by the funds provided for culturally 
     specific programs in H.R. 1620.
       We appreciate your commitment to moving this bill forward 
     with bipartisan support and continue the longstanding 
     commitment of Congress to support enhanced services and 
     protections in each reauthorization of VAWA. Thank you for 
     being a champion on behalf of all victims and survivors and 
     for your commitment to improving the well-being of 
     individuals, families, and communities.
           Sincerely,
                                          Patricia J. Tototzintle,
                                                              CEO.

  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Madam Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1620, the 
``Violence Against Women Act of 2021,'' that will reauthorize the 
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994.
  The Violence Against Women Act is landmark legislation first enacted 
in 1994 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton which has--
through policy reforms, interstate cooperation and grant allocation--
been pivotal in providing a national response to protecting half of the 
population.
  Equally important, it has ushered in a seismic transformation on how 
society perceives violence against women.
  VAWA was enacted in response to the prevalence of domestic and sexual 
violence, and the significant impact of such violence on the lives of 
women.
  I remember those days well because I was serving on the board of the 
Houston Area Women's Center (HAWC), at that time the sole shelter in 
the Houston area offering sanctuary to victims and women at risk of 
domestic violence.
  Despite its import, VAWA has been expired since September 30, 2018, 
and we as a body are now called upon by survivors to reauthorize it.
  VAWA has a proven success record--in the quarter-century since it 
passed, domestic violence has decreased by approximately two-thirds, 
and intimate partner homicides decreased by approximately one-third.
  However, despite these gains, domestic violence and sexual assault 
cases I have rapidly increased during this COVID-19 crisis, where 
perpetrators are spending significant amount of time at home with their 
victims.
  This landmark, transformative legislation is needed now more than 
ever.
  Police departments around the country have reported increases in 
domestic violence: 18 percent increase in San Antonio; 22 percent 
increase in Portland, Oregon; 10 percent increase in New York City.
  A recent meta-analysis of 18 different studies concerning domestic 
violence during the pandemic found that domestic violence cases have 
increased an average of over 8 percent across the country.
  In the United States, an estimated 10 million people experience 
domestic violence every year, and more than 15 million children are 
exposed to this violence annually.
  According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, about 
20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner.
  About 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner 
physical violence, sexual violence, and/or partner stalking with 
injury.
  Today, in Texas, 35.10 percent of women and 34.5 percent of men are 
subjected to domestic violence.
  We cannot forget the victims of domestic violence like Yashica 
Fontenot, who was murdered in Harris County, Texas, by her husband just 
one day after Christmas last year while she was trying to escape her 
relationship.
  Nor can we forget Debra Seidenfaden, who was murdered by her husband 
in Houston after an argument.
  Nor can we forget the Houston woman who was tied up and sexually 
assaulted in her own home just last week; or the Houston woman who was 
shot multiple times by her husband at a medical office this month; or 
the Houston mother and grandmother who was murdered by her son-in law 
while she attempted to protect her daughter and grandchildren.
  There are countless stories like this throughout this country, which 
is why it is imperative to reauthorize VAWA by passing H.R. 1620.
  The stories of these women remind us of the urgency to protect 
survivors now, before it is too late, because many of these deaths are 
preventable.
  Since VAWA's codification in 1994, more victims report episodes of 
domestic violence to the police and the rate of non-fatal intimate 
partner violence against women has decreased by almost two-thirds.
  VAWA has also led to a significant increase in the reporting of 
sexual assault.
  From 1994 to 2015, the rate of women murdered by men in single 
victim/single offender incidents dropped 29 percent.
  In the first 15 years of VAWA's validity, rates of serious intimate 
partner violence declined by 72 percent for women and 64 percent for 
men.
  Research suggests that referring a victim to a domestic violence or 
sexual assault advocate has been linked to an increased willingness to 
file a police report--survivors with an advocate filed a report with 
law enforcement 59 percent of the time, versus 41 percent for 
individuals not referred to a victim advocate.
  Prior to VAWA, law enforcement lacked the resources and tools to 
respond effectively to domestic violence and sexual assault, and this 
progress cannot be allowed to stop.
  Congress must continue sending the clear message that violence 
against women is unacceptable.
  VAWA has been reauthorized three times--in 2000, 2005, and 2013--with 
strong bipartisan approval and overwhelming support from Congress, 
states, and local communities.
  Each reauthorization of VAWA has improved protections for women and 
men, while helping to change the culture and reduce the tolerance for 
these crimes.
  H.R. 1620 continues that tradition, and therefore, is intended to 
make modifications, as Congress has done in the past to all previous 
reauthorizations of VAWA.
  H.R. 1620 is a bipartisan bill, reflecting a reasonable and 
compromise approach to reauthorize grant programs under the Violence 
Against Women Act (VAWA).
  These moderate enhancements will address the many growing and unmet 
needs of victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, 
sexual assault, and stalking.
  H.R. 1620 addresses the needs of sex trafficking victims while 
creating a demonstration program on trauma-informed training for law 
enforcement.
  H.R. 1620 increases access to grant programs for culturally specific 
organizations and ensure culturally specific organizations are included 
in the development and implementation of service, education, training, 
and other grants.
  H.R. 1620 adds a purpose area to assist communities in developing 
alternatives to housing ordinances that punish survivors for seeking 
law enforcement intervention.
  H.R. 1620 expands protections for vulnerable populations such as 
youth, survivors without shelter, Native American women, and LGBTQ 
persons.
  H.R. 1620 ensures Deaf people are included in grants relating to 
people with disabilities.
  VAWA is central to our nation's effort to fight the epidemic of 
domestic, sexual, and

[[Page H1432]]

dating violence and stalking, and we as a body are now called upon by 
survivors to reauthorize it.
  It is important to note that H.R. 1620 did not happen on its own.
  It was the product of a collaborative effort of stakeholders, 
including victim advocates.
  It was the product of those willing to share their stories of the 
abuse suffered at the hands of those who were entrusted to love, but 
instead harmed.
  The courage, strength, and resilience displayed by survivors has 
reminded all that we must continue to foster an environment for victims 
of violence to come forward and expose episodes of violence against 
women.
  Having listened to concerned stakeholders from all pockets of the 
country, we have put pen to paper and produced a bill that is endorsed 
by the bipartisan National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic 
Violence (NTF), which is a national collaboration comprising a large 
and diverse group of 35 national, tribal, state, territorial, and local 
organizations, advocates, and individuals that focus on the 
development, passage and implementation of effective public policy to 
address domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and 
stalking.
  This bill recognizes the urgency and dire need faced by the victims 
and survivors throughout this country during a significant moment of 
ongoing domestic violence caused by this pandemic and experienced by 
both women and men.
  The love for a spouse, the comfort of a mother and the best wishes 
for a sister know no political allegiance.
  I am determined to work with my colleagues and others to complete the 
mission I accepted in the 115th Congress when the House passed the VAWA 
legislation I authored, H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women 
Reauthorization Act of 2018, all the way this time through passage by 
the Senate and to presentment for signature to President Biden, a 
strong supporter of the bill and the original creator of VAWA.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Ms. Spanberger). All time for debate has 
expired.
  Pursuant to Resolution 233, the previous question is ordered.
  The question is on the engrossment and third reading of the joint 
resolution.
  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 
resolution.
  The question was taken, and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.
  Mrs. FISCHBACH. Madam Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to section 3(s) of House Resolution 
8, the yeas and nays are ordered.
  Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further proceedings on this question 
are postponed.

                          ____________________