28 February 2013

House passes full VAWA bill

I am very pleasantly surprised. Somehow, enough House Republicans got convinced to pass the full Senate bill for reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), rather than the GOP's watered-down version. It passed 286 to 138. The bill passed in the Senate earlier this month.

Despite the common assumption that everyone would want to support a bill that would help victims of domestic violence and abuse, today's victory was a long time coming. Last year the bill got nowhere because of conservative Republicans who opposed extending the Act's protections to LGBT individuals and undocumented immigrants, as well as a provision that would give Native American tribal authorities jurisdiction over sex crimes committed by non-Native-Americans on tribal lands. Apparently they believed that those poor victims - lesbian/bi/trans women, undocumented immigrants, and reservation dwellers abused by non-Indians - should be left to suffer without protection or support.

Fortunately, kindness and compassion ultimately prevailed.

>> See how your rep voted.

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