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Video: Delegates David Toscano, Hala Ayala Call Out House Republicans for Using “Raw Political Power” to Block ERA Floor Vote

"You just eliminated the ability of us to have a straight up-or-down vote on this House floor for the Equal Rights Amendment."

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Two Virginia House Democrats, Delegates David Toscano and Hala Ayala, call out House Republicans for acting like…well, Republicans. In this case, on the Equal Rights Amendment. Check it out, and remember in November!

Del. David Toscano: “What we really have seen today is raw political power in its unbelievable majesty. I think Del. Simon pointed out that the rules are set up by the majority but they also are supposed to protect the minority, and here we’ve seen the rules be manipulated to destroy the ability of the minority even to present a case. What has happened today…you set up the rules in a way, and then people who interpret the rules just interpret them whatever way they want…you can do whatever you want. So let’s just try to figure out here for a minute what you just did…You just eliminated the ability of us to have a straight up-or-down vote on this House floor for the Equal Rights Amendment. So don’t give us any malarkey about, well if this gets to the House floor, we’ll vote for it, because you just prevented it from getting to the House floor.  That’s what this substitute, SJR275, did…It actually gave you the ability…to vote for the ERA on the House floor…We could have had this vote today on the House floor without changing one single rule, but instead, you prevented it. Everybody knows the fix is in. The leadership does not want a vote on this, and the leadership is going to deny everybody in the Caucus your right that you said you wanted to do to vote on the ERA on the House floor. And all we are left with is tomorrow, the rules. And we know what’s going to happen with that. You take about a sham game on that. It’s all fixed. it’s all rigged. And I think the Virginian public know for sure right now that this is all rigged.

Del. Hala Ayala: “I felt compelled to speak on what just happened…When I said earlier I wanted to have the opportunity to be heard and that I would listen so that you’re heard, I don’t think that’s happening here. I know what it’s like to have the deck stacked against me…The 15th amendment had to be codified to give women of color, like me, the right to vote. And today, when I ask you for my civil rights, for the equality of all women…you’ve obstructed my ability to have that opportunity. Now you’ll have to tell 81% of Virginians that you’ve obstructed my civil and human right to equality. I respect each and every one of you, but what I don’t respect today is your maneuver. If we really respect one another, and if we really want to give women due process under the law, you would bring this to the floor for a full vote – and today.