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House Coalition Reintroduces ERA in Congress

United Press International

A bipartisan coalition of more than 130 House members on Tuesday reintroduced the equal rights amendment in Congress.

The amendment, which became the first joint resolution of the 101st Congress, must be approved by two-thirds of both the House and Senate and ratified by three-fourths of the states to become part of the Constitution.

The extended deadline for ratification of the last ERA resolution expired June 30, 1982, three states short of the 38 necessary to support the amendment.

‘Equality of Rights’

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The amendment introduced Tuesday, like the previous resolution, states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

The measure was co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 137 House members. Its primary sponsor is Rep. Don Edwards (D-San Jose), who chairs the House Judiciary subcommittee on civil and constitutional rights. Among co-sponsors are Rep. Hamilton Fish Jr. (R-N.Y.), the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Patricia Schroeder (D-Colo.), a longtime ERA proponent.

The resolution is expected to be introduced in the Senate next month, and Edwards said he expects to hold hearings on the measure before his subcommittee in February or March.

“Let this year be the one in which we finally bring women into the Constitution,” Edwards said in a statement. “It is time we extend full equality of rights under the law to all of our citizens.”

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