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Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The two chambers of Virginia's General Assembly approved the proposed Equal Rights Amendment with bipartisan support on Wednesday in an overwhelming win for gender equality advocates.

Why it matters: Virginia is now poised to become the crucial 38th state to approve the ERA, which would prohibit discrimination on the basis on sex. Three-quarters of all state assemblies and legislatures must approve the measure for it to be added to the U.S. Constitution, the Washington Post notes.

Yes, but: Wednesday’s votes are not for final passage, as parliamentary rules dictate that each chamber must approve the other’s version. Though the two are identical, the final show of support is considered a formality.

  • The Justice Department also issued a finding last week that the ERA expired, thus could no longer be ratified, per the Washington Post. Multiple efforts are afoot on Capitol Hill to expand or renew the ratification process.

The amendment was first proposed in 1923, passed in 1972 and given a ratification deadline of March 22, 1979.

  • The deadline was extended through June 1982, but only 35 of the 38 needed states ratified it.
  • When the proposal was deemed a failure, five states withdrew their support.
  • Three states have added their support since 2017 — now including Virginia.
  • Virginia only counts as the final state required for ratification if the five withdrawals are dismissed.

The bottom line: In principle, the landmark proposal has its necessary backers, but it remains unclear whether the measure will be added to the U.S. Constitution.

Go deeper: Trump administration argues civil rights law doesn't cover LGBTQ workers

Go deeper

Updated 58 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Here come Earmarks 2.0

DeLauro at a hearing in May 2020. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The House Appropriations Committee is preparing to restore a limited version of earmarks, which give lawmakers power to direct spending to their districts to pay for special projects.

Why it matters: A series of scandals involving members in both parties prompted a moratorium on earmarks in 2011. But Democrats argue it's worth the risk to bring them back because earmarks would increase their leverage to pass critical legislation with a narrow majority, especially infrastructure and spending bills.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

UN says Paris carbon-cutting plans fall far short

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Nations' formal emissions-cutting pledges are collectively way too weak to put the world on track to meet the Paris climate deal's temperature-limiting target, a United Nations tally shows.

Driving the news: This morning the UN released an analysis of the most recent nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — that is, countries' medium-term emissions targets submitted under the 2015 pact.

Biden condemns Russian aggression on 7th anniversary of Crimea annexation

Putin giving a speech in Sevastapol, Crimea, in 2020. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

President Biden reaffirmed U.S. support for the people of Ukraine and vowed to hold Russia accountable for its aggression in a statement on Friday, the 7th anniversary of Russia's 2014 invasion of Crimea.

Why it matters: The statement reflects the aggressive approach Biden is taking to Russia, which he classified on the campaign trail as an "opponent" and "the biggest threat" to U.S. security and alliances.