1 of 3 | GOP senators Thursday blocked Democratic efforts to remove a ratification deadline so the Equal Rights Amendment can be added to the U.S. Constitution. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. changed his vote to no afterward in procedural move so he can bring up the resolution again in the future. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
April 27 (UPI) -- Senate Republicans Thursday blocked Democratic efforts to advance the Equal Rights Amendment by removing the deadline to ratify the proposed constitutional amendment. The ERA prohibits discrimination based on sex.
The motion to invoke cloture would have ended the debate and paved the way for a vote on extending the ERA ratification deadline. It failed 51-47 because it needed 60 votes to pass.
Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska and Susan Collins, R-Maine, were the only Republican yes votes.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. changed his vote to a no vote afterward to preserve an ability to bring it up again under Senate rules.
"This resolution is as necessary as it is timely. America can never hope to be a land of freedom and opportunity so long as half of its population is treated like second-class citizens," Schumer said on the floor of the Senate before the vote.
The ERA was first introduced in 1923 and has already been ratified by 38 states, meeting the three-fourths requirement for putting the ERA into the U.S. Constitution.
But some of them ratified it after the deadline.
The full text of the ERA says, "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 Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification."
The U.S. House voted to extend the ratification deadline in 2021 under Democratic leadership, but the U.S. Senate has not voted to extend the deadline.