Washington – Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17) released the following statement after she helped pass a bipartisan resolution to remove the arbitrary deadline Congress previously set for the States to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA):
“I was proud to vote in favor of women’s equality – plain and simple. Right now, women are forced to rely on inconsistent laws for protection. With this vote, we take another step forward to guarantee fundamental rights for all. And in that, I see nothing political. Only fairness. The removal of the deadline set so long ago would place the Equal Rights Amendment on a path to solidify it as a part of our Constitution.”
In 1971 and 1972 the ERA passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan majorities. Included was a clause requiring the amendment to be ratified by 1979, which was later extended to 1982 before it expired. By the end of 1982, 35 of the 38 required state legislatures had voted to ratify the ERA. Since then, Nevada, Illinois and Virginia have each voted to ratify the amendment – bringing the total numbers of states to the required 38.
Today’s resolution would bring the ERA one step closer to becoming a part of the U.S. Constitution.