The Violence Against Women Act first became law in 1994 and has since been routinely reauthorized without controversy. By providing resources for law enforcement to combat spousal abuse, it has protected countless women from domestic violence.
But the 2012 re-authorization, like many initiatives of the just-concluded Congress, fell prey to House Republican resistance — in this case, to expanding the Act to cover more women. In the end, House GOP leaders refused bring to a vote a bill that passed the Senate with a bipartisan supermajority.
The battle began last spring in the Senate. Democrats introduced a re-authorization — written with input from law enforcement and anti-domestic-violence advocates — with expanded provisions to protect victims even if they’re gay, illegal immigrants or Native Americans living in tribal jurisdictions. Republicans balked, demanding those additions be stripped out and introducing a competing version that omitted them.
But Senate Democrats peeled off enough Republicans for the new provisions. In April, they passed the expanded version by a whopping 68-31 vote, winning over 8 Republicans.
The legislation then moved to the House, where Republican leaders faced pressure to act, but had no intention of supporting the added provisions. So they introduced a scaled-back version that omitted them and made it harder for illegal-immigrant victims of domestic violence to obtain legal status under a special category called the U Visa.
rejoice fellow mens rights activists! we did it!