Tuesday marks the centennial of final congressional approval of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote nationwide. The 100th anniversary of ratification is still more than a year away – Tennessee's endorsement of the amendment in August 1920 yielded the required approval of three-quarters of the states – but this anniversary is as good a time as any to consider some things to know about the path of women's suffrage:
President Woodrow Wilson originally opposed giving women the right to vote but changed his position and delivered a speech in the Senate chamber on Sept. 13, 1918, in which he reminded senators that the war could not have been fought without the help of women on the home front.
After decades of protest and previous failed attempts in Congress, the House debate on the amendment lasted just two hours on May 21, 1919. Proponents highlighted women's work during the war; opponents said the amendment would violate the rights of states to decide who got to vote.
By 1919 women had already won the right to vote in 15 of the 48 states. Rep. Edward Little of Kansas, one of those states, said during the House debate that allowing women to vote would not risk their traditional roles: "To permit the mothers of this country to express their views on important issues will not injure the homes."
Congress created a Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission in 2017 and it has a website that includes information about the historical events surrounding suffrage as well as events planned to celebrate the 100th anniversary.
In Washington, these include "Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence," an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery that can also be viewed in part online.
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RepresentUs acquired 8,000 signatures on a petition asking Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to keep working on a "revolving door" bill. Paula Barkan, Austin chapter leader of RepresentUs, handed the petition to Brandon Simon, Cruz's Central Texas regional director, on July 31.
Remember that tweet exchange in May between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the one where they discussed bipartisan legislation to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists?
To recap: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for legislation banning the practice in light of a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which found that nearly 60 percent of lawmakers who recently left Congress had found jobs with lobbying firms. Cruz tweeted back, extending an invitation to work on such a bill. Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Let's make a deal."
The news cycle being what it is, it's easy to forget how the media jumped on the idea of the Texas Republican and the New York Democrat finding common ground on a government ethics proposal. Since then, we've collectively moved on — but not everyone forgot.
The government reform group RepresentUs recently drafted a petition asking Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez to follow through on their idea, gathering more than 8,000 signatures.
Sixty percent of young adults in the United States believe other people "can't be trusted," according to a recent Pew Research survey, which found that younger Americans were far more likely than older adults to distrust both institutions and other people. But adults of all ages did agree on one thing: They all lack confidence in elected leaders.
While united in a lack of confidence, the cohorts disagreed on whether that's a major problem. The study found that young adults (ages 18-29) were less likely than older Americans to believe that poor confidence in the federal government, the inability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, and the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups were "very big problems."