Pelosi Remarks at Press Event Ahead of House Passage of Resolution on Equal Rights Amendment

Feb 12, 2020
Press Release
Contact: Speaker’s Press Office,
202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Members of Congress and women’s rights advocates for a press event on the House’s upcoming vote to remove the ratification deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Good morning.  We all wore red.  

As we are gathering, as we are gathering, you’ll hear from the speakers, but let’s acknowledge that the American Association of the University of Women, the ERA Coalition, the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Law Center, YWCA, Women’s Center for American Progress, Equality NOW, ERA Coalition, Feminist Majority, League of Women Voters, National Organization for Women, again, National Political Women – Women’s Political Caucus, Planned Parenthood, Ratify ERA.  Let’s give them a round of applause for being here this afternoon. 

All of these organizations and so many people.  The outside mobilization, the vitality of it all, the spark across America to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.  

So, we have Members from both sides of the Capitol this morning.  Mr. Cardin will be joining us – a sponsor of the resolution – will be joining us momentarily for this milestone for equality, as we pave the way for ERA ratification.

Around the country, millions of women have raised a drumbeat for ratification and we ignited a nationwide movement to pass this ERA.  We’re pleased, with so many activists, organizers and mobilizers are here.  I’m grateful that Carol Jenkins, the Co-President and CEO – CEO of the ERA Coalition, is here with her [granddaughter] Avery.  And this is what it’s about.  Where is Avery?  Little Avery. 

[Laughter] 

It’s about the future.  It’s about the future. 

And also, so grateful to Heidi Schreck, using her platform to lift up the fight for equality.  And, she is expecting twins at the end of April, so thank you for making the extra [effort].

You’ll be hearing from our colleagues.  Our distinguished Leader, Mr. Hoyer.  Jackie Speier, the author of this important resolution and a – legislation – and a fighter for the ERA.  Carolyn Maloney, just relentless, persistent, dissatisfied always.  I mentioned Ben Cardin.  Brenda Lawrence, a leader in the Black Caucus and the Women’s Caucus – Women’s of the – Members of the Democratic Women’s Caucus.  And, one of our stars here: Jennifer Wexton from Virginia, just became the 38th state to ratify the ERA. 

[Applause]

So, here we are in this Congress, which will observe – during which time we will observe the 100th anniversary of women having the right to vote and the ERA is still not enshrined in the Constitution.  As a result, women still face inequality under the law from the wage gap to pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment and, again, this resulting in women being underrepresented at the table. 

With this resolution, we take a giant step toward equality for women, progress for families and a stronger America, because we know when women succeed, America succeeds. 

[Applause] 

That’s an applause line. 

Now, I’m pleased to yield to the distinguished Leader of this effort in Congress, Congresswoman Jackie Speier.

***

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you.  And Virginia helped to give us the Majority with Elaine Luria, Abigail Spanberger and, of course, Congresswoman Wexton.  Thank you for your leadership in the legislature and here.  

But that Majority enables us to bring this legislation to the Floor.  I too want to tell, say that inside maneuvering can only go so far.  The outside mobilization is absolutely essential to our success, so thank you to all of you for what you are doing and for, again to, to you, I want to say a special thanks to Feminist Majority and Peg Yorkin, who just made this such a focus.  So, thank you very much and thank Peg as well.  

[Applause]

And so, as we go forward, tomorrow will be a great day for America.  I hope that we have the strongest possible bipartisan vote in the House that, as we take it over to the Senate.  It is going to be, again a more perfect union as Mr. Hoyer said, again, reinforcing what we believe, that when women succeed, America succeeds.

Thank you all very much.  

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