Washington, DC — Today, on a historic day for women, Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06) voted to pass H.J.Res.17, removing the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and H.R.1620, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021. Both bills passed the House with bipartisan support. 

“American women have fought for the right to vote, the right to equal education, the right to reproductive health, and the right to financially provide for our families and be compensated the same as men. We will continue these fights until our Constitution declares that women are equal in the eyes of the law,” said McBath. “I was proud to vote for it again today in honor of the generations of women that have made strides toward equality.”

In 1923, an amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing equal protection for women was introduced by Alice Paul, and it passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the House and Senate in 1972. However, Congress set a deadline for state ratification by 1982, and the required number of states had not ratified the amendment. On January 15, 2020, Virginia became the 38th state to ratify the measure since 1972, reaching the two-thirds threshold required for adoption as a constitutional amendment. H.J. Res. 17 allows for continued action to make the Equal Rights Amendment the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution. 

After passing the ERA during this historic Women’s History Month, the House passed H.R. 1620, which reauthorizes and strengthens the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to protect those who need it most. VAWA, which was signed into law in 1994, was designed to protect women in America from violence and address holes in the criminal justice system when dealing with such crimes. 

“Unfortunately, when we talk about violence against women, we are often talking about domestic violence. Domestic violence claims the lives of far too many, and it is especially deadly when it occurs in a household with a gun. One million women alive today in the United States have reported being shot or shot at by intimate partners, and there are many more who have been threatened or killed with a gun,” McBath said.“Just last night, a man with hate in his heart murdered seven women in an act of unspeakable violence. My heart remains heavy for the families and communities who will never be the same. We must continue to root out hatred and violence in all its forms. With this bill, we can help stop violence against women, protect our communities, and keep every American safer.

The bipartisan bills passed today continue to build upon the successes achieved for American women and their families during the 117th Congress.