WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Members of Congress say discrimination against women is a constant issue in the United States.
“The ERA still does not appear in the Constitution and this has to change,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said.
Maloney says the nation needs the Equal Rights Amendment.
“It will make a real difference in the lives of women and people who face discrimination, sexual violence and unequal pay,” Maloney said.
As of 2020, 38 states have ratified the ERA. But because it took decades, there is a legal fight about whether it should be added to the Constitution.
“Under President Trump, the Department of Justice issued an opinion advising the archivist to not certify the ERA,” Maloney said.
Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.) says the ERA would help women reach their full potential.
“America is only great when its greatness is shared equally,” Lawrence said.
But some Republicans say the ERA isn’t needed, because other parts of the Constitution already protect every American.
“The 1970s ERA, Equal Rights Amendment, is simply unnecessary and would be redundant of protections that already exist,” Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) said.
Comer says the ERA would actually jeopardize some programs for women. Rep. Fred Keller (R-Pa.) agrees.
“Our citizens are protected under the umbrella of existing laws that shield them from sex discrimination or any kind of discrimination,” Keller said.
Keller and other Republicans say there are more pressing issues to attend to. But Democrats want the president to take action on the ERA now.