The comparative dearth of GOP support is a hit to advocates, who had sought a wave of bipartisanship to improve H.J. Res. 79 (116)'s chances in the Mitch McConnell-controlled Senate, co-sponsor Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said.
"I believe in one step at a time," Maloney, who has long championed the ERA in Congress, told POLITICO Wednesday. "The first step is to see how the vote goes, and if we get a strong Republican vote, the degree of probability of it passing in the Senate increases dramatically."
The ERA resurfaced last month when Virginia voted to ratify it, pushing the amendment past the required 38-state threshold. But aside from the unlikelihood that the House bill will clear the Senate, the bid to revive the ERA has already drawn court challenges from those who believe Virginia's vote came nearly four decades too late. Another potential legal difficulty is that five states that have rescinded their ratifications — though historically, such reversals have not been recognized by the courts.