Legislation in the Pipeline – Zonta USA Advocacy Action Center (www.votervoice.net/Zonta/Bills)
US Congress Bill H.R.4104 – Vanessa Guillén Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act
In July 2021, the Senate Armed Service Committee announced that it had put forth its annual defense bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, and it included the Military Justice Improvement and Increasing Prevention Act of 2021 to support justice for survivors of sexual assault in the military. This companion bill was introduced in the House. (6-2021)
US Congress Bill H.R.3875 & US Senate Bill S.2042 – Interagency Committee on Women’s Business Enterprise Act of 2021 (ICWBE)
These bills would reauthorize the ICWBE to help coordinate federal resources to encourage the formation, growth and success of women-owned businesses. It would amend Title IV of the Women’s Business Ownership Act to reauthorize the interagency committee by making sure a chairperson is appointed to operate the committee, and it would update the agencies and departments that would coordinate to make sure all resources are being used effectively. Support female entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses by urging your senators and representative to co-sponsor and support the Interagency Committee on Women’s Business Enterprise Act of 2021. (6-2021)
US Congress Bill H.R.121 & US Senate Bill S.R.87 – The Marshall Plan for Moms
Women have lost more than 5.4 million net jobs and account for 55% of overall net job loss since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. This plan puts forward a framework of numerous provisions that aim to help moms return to the workforce so that they can resume and advance their careers and stop losing out on wages that are critical to their family’s economic security. The Marshall Plan for Moms is a bold 360-plan to get women back to work that includes:
- Direct payments to moms, who have had their paid labor in the workforce replaced by unseen, unpaid labor at home.
- Passing long-overdue policies like paid family leave, affordable childcare and pay equity.
- Retraining programs to ensure women can fill the jobs that will exist.
- Rebuilding and stabilizing the child care industry, with a vision toward universal child care and early learning.
- Plans to safely reopen schools 5 days a week.
Please urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor and support the Marshall Plan for Moms. (4-2021)
US Congress Bill H.R. 1065 – Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
This bill prohibits employment practices that discriminate against making reasonable accommodations for qualified employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. It is a bipartisan proposal that establishes a pregnant worker’s clear-cut right to reasonable accommodations, provided they do not impose an undue burden on their employer. Referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (5-2021).
US Congress Bill H.R 1620 – Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA)
The VAWA Reauthorization Act of 2021 was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 8, 2021 and was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 17th with a bipartisan vote of 244-172. The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) applauds the bill’s lead sponsors, Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), and Jerry Nadler (D-NY), and all those who voted for VAWA’s passage. The bill takes a holistic approach, addressing the complex realities of survivors’ lives. It maintains established protections, while also addressing persistent gaps and improving the current VAWA provisions. This has been referred to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. (3-2021)
US Congress Bill H.R. 571 – Safe from the Start Act
This bill would keep women and girls safe from violence, early marriage, and other injustices in emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of the act is to reduce the incidence of gender-based violence (GBV), ensure quality support for survivors from the very beginning of emergencies through timely and effective humanitarian action, and promote standards for prevention, mitigation, and response to such crises. (1-2021)
To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes. Introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate in January 2021. In March, it was sent to Committee and a Mark-up Session was held. (3-2021)
US Senate Bill S. 1071 – Keeping Girls in School Act
The economic benefits of girls’ education are substantial and can help lift households, communities, and nations out of poverty. Keeping girls in secondary school could:
- Add $92 billion to the economies of low and middle-income nations;
- Cut child deaths by 50 percent;
- Reduce child marriage by 66 percent;
- Decrease violent conflict by 37 percent; and
- Increase girls’ future wages by up to 20 percent for every year enrolled.
The Keeping Girls in School Act passed the House in January 2020. Contact your Senator today and ask them to support S.1071.
US Senate Bill S.J. Res. 1 – Eliminates Deadline for the Ratification of ERA
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was passed by Congress in 1972; however, it has never been fully ratified. This joint resolution eliminates the deadline for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment and will make it clear that sex discrimination in employment, education, or any other space is a violation of women’s constitutional rights as Americans. It will also provide a clearer and stricter judicial standard for deciding cases of sex discrimination.
On January 22, 2021 Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), joined by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), introduced S.J.Res.1 to remove the deadline to ratify the ERA. In March, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to advance the Equal Rights Amendment by removing the ratification deadline. We urge the Senate to follow the House and remove the deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment. (3-2021)