House to take up gender pay gap, Violence Against Women Act

House to take up gender pay gap, Violence Against Women Act
© Greg Nash

The House will consider legislation in the coming weeks to address the gender pay gap, reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and reinstate net neutrality rules, Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHouse Democrats eye passing DC statehood bill for second time Capitol Police chief: Threats against lawmakers up nearly 65 percent since last year House rejects GOP resolution to censure Waters MORE (D-Md.) announced Monday.

All three measures are among Democrats' top legislative priorities in the first 100 days of their majority. Hoyer laid out the plans in a “Dear Colleague” letter announcing the agenda for the next work period.

None of those measures are likely to go anywhere in the GOP-controlled Senate, but passage of the bills will offer House Democrats a chance to show they are passing the legislation they campaigned on.


Lawmakers will return from a recess next week to consider the Paycheck Fairness Act, which seeks to reduce the gender pay gap by banning salary secrecy and prohibiting employers from asking prospective employees for salary history.

The House is also slated to vote next Tuesday on attempting to override President TrumpDonald TrumpUS gives examples of possible sanctions relief to Iran GOP lawmaker demands review over FBI saying baseball shooting was 'suicide by cop' House passes bill aimed at stopping future Trump travel ban MORE’s veto of a resolution that would terminate his national emergency declaration to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. But given that only 13 House Republicans joined with Democrats to support the resolution last month, the vote is expected to fail to reach the necessary two-thirds supermajority to override Trump's veto.

During the week of April 1, Democrats will plan to vote on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which has been in limbo since the government shut down in December. The spending bill to reopen the government in late January did not include a VAWA extension. 

The House Judiciary Committee advanced a VAWA reauthorization bill last week that includes expanded protections for transgender people and measures to make it harder for convicted abusers to buy guns.

And before lawmakers depart for the Easter recess the week of April 8, the House will vote on a bill to reinstate the Obama-era net neutrality rules.

Only one expected measure on the docket outlined by Hoyer will have support from the Senate without significant changes.

Hoyer said the House will also clear a bipartisan war powers resolution to require U.S. forces to end involvement in Yemen, after the Senate passed the resolution last week. House passage will send the resolution to Trump's desk, setting up the expected second veto of his presidency.

The House previously passed a similar resolution last month, but the Senate wasn't able to take up that version after Republicans successfully added an extraneous measure condemning anti-Semitism.