Arizona House Republicans Block Efforts To Vote On Equal Rights Amendment
House Republican leaders outmaneuvered a bid by Democrats to get the legislature to vote to approve the 45-year-old federal Equal Rights Amendment.
In 1972, the United States Congress approved a measure that said "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.'' And it would empower Congress to enforce provisions.
That action sent it to the states for ratification. All these years later, the ERA still needs the approval of 38 states to become part of the U.S. Constitution.
On Thursday Arizona Democrats tried to force a debate and vote. The effort was led by Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley.
"The wage gap has narrowed by only 13 cents since 1980," Powers Hannley said. "At that rate, Arizona women will achieve pay equity by 2044, 29 years from now."
But House Speaker JD Mesnard blocked the effort by calling for recess.
Mesnard said he once considered introducing the ratification resolution himself, but changed his mind after studying the issue.