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Senate tries again to move anti-violence bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats worked toward picking up Republican allies Monday as they launched a new attempt to broaden a law protecting women from domestic abuse by expanding its provisions to cover gays, lesbians and Native Americans.

The legislation to renew the Violence Against Women Act appeared on a smooth path toward passage in the Senate, possibly by the end of this week. Monday's procedural vote to make the bill the next order of business was expected to easily clear the 60-vote threshold.

Senate passage would send the bill to the House. Advocates hope that Republicans, smarting from election losses among women voters in November, won't repeat their resistance last year to the Senate approach.

"Allowing partisan delays to put women's lives at risk is simply shameful," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said before the vote. He said he hoped convincing support for the legislation in the Senate would "send a strong message to House Republican leaders that further partisan delay is unacceptable."

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