Violence Against Women Act headed for a Senate Vote, Stuck in the House
Will John Boehner let the House vote on the Violence Against Women Act?
Armed with 61 Senate cosponsors—yes, enough to beat a filibuster with a vote to spare—the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act is set to be considered as early as this week, for a vote next week. Thecosponsors include eight Republicans: Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Dean Heller of Nevada, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. However, this VAWA reauthorization has drawn strong opposition, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), because it would help protect victims of abuse who are LGBT or undocumented and would give Native American tribes increased jurisdiction in some domestic violence cases.
Republicans are planning to try to remove the provisions protecting women who they apparently don't think should be protected from violence on the floor of the Senate, but with 61 cosponsors, the existing bill has a decent chance of Senate passage—as much as anything does these days, anyway.
The House is the much bigger question mark. Last month, as Democrats held a protest vote trying to get the bill considered, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), said:
“Violence against women is as American as apple pie. And I know not only as a legislator who — but from my own personal experience, violence — domestic violence — has been a thread throughout my personal life, up to and including being a child repeatedly sexually assaulted, up to and including being an adult who has been raped.”
So far there's no indication if Speaker John Boehner will even bring reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act up for a vote, let alone if the needed number of House Republicans will vote for this critical bill. Republicans have a chance to ease off the war on women for one vote, on a bill that in 2005 was reauthorized by unanimous consent in the Senate and with 415 votes in the House. Will they do it?
Sign our petition calling on Speaker Boehner to bring the Violence Against Women Act up for a vote. We'll deliver it to Rep. Gwen Moore to help her push for this important vote.