Rep. Payne, Jr. Praises Elimination of Deadline for Passage of the ERA

February 13, 2020
Press Release

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   --  Patrick.Wright@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. praised his colleagues for their votes today to remove the Congressional deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).  The ERA would establish that the “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.”  Women’s rights groups have sought the amendment for decades to achieve gender equality nationwide.

Congressman Payne, Jr. was delighted the House passed the resolution (H.J. Res. 79) by a vote of 232-183.     

“This amendment is necessary to help women attain all the legal rights they deserve," said Congressman Payne, Jr.  "Once it is ratified and part of our Constitution, it will give women more power to determine their health choices and possibly help close the wage gap that continues to be a problem in this country.  It has been a long time coming, but today’s vote brings us one step closer to achieving gender equity nationwide.”   

Congress had established 1979 as the deadline year for 38 out of the 50 states to ratify the amendment, the amount necessary for it to become part of the U.S. Constitution.  Later, it was extended to 1982.  While only 35 states ratified it before the deadline, three states ratified it within the last three years to achieve the 38-state minimum.  If passed, the ERA would be the nation’s 28th amendment. 

“I have been a strong supporter of equal rights and co-sponsored the resolution to eliminate the deadline completely,” said Congressman Payne, Jr.  “I was disappointed to miss the vote due to a doctor’s order to recover from influenza, which I caught because I forgot to get my vaccination shot.  I have learned my lesson and encourage all my constituents to get vaccinated every year.”

                              ####