WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Congressman Mark Pocan’s (WI-02) bill, the 21st Century President Act (H.R. 3285), passed the House unanimously by voice vote. Rep. Pocan spoke on the House Floor this afternoon in support of this legislation, which he authored and introduced.

Rep. Mark Pocan
June, 21 2022
Remarks as Delivered

I rise today in support of the 21st Century President Act, a bipartisan bill which I am glad to have authored and introduced.

Federal law hasn’t caught up to where progress in this country is, specifically when it comes to who a future president can be.

This bill would change federal law that refers to a president’s spouse. Sections that currently refer to a president’s “wife” or “widow” would be changed to “spouse” in recognition of the fact that in the 21st Century the president could be either a woman or a person from the LGBTQ community.

Without this change to the U.S. Code, for example, the law that makes it a crime to threaten, kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon the president or the president’s family would fail to include a future female or gay president and their potential spouse.

This change is long overdue.

Someday, there could be a President Kamala Harris. Or Elizabeth Warren. Or Amy Klobuchar. Or Tammy Baldwin. Or Pete Buttigieg.

Or a President Nikki Haley, or Kristi Noem, or Liz Cheney.

The words in law matter. It is critically important that federal law recognizes that we could one day have a president who is not a man, or even a straight man, and that they and their families deserve equal protection under the law.

I am glad that this bill passed the House by voice vote last Congress, and that it has now been voted out of the Judiciary Committee twice on a voice vote.

I would like to personally thank Chairman Nadler and the Judiciary Committee for their support of this important bipartisan bill, and I urge all of my colleagues to once again support the 21st Century President Act.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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