Today the House Judiciary Committee passed, on a partisan basis, a House Republican bill reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act that rolls back critical protections for America’s women. As Democratic staff for the Judiciary Committee explain:
H.R. 4970, the “Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012″, seeks to reauthorize certain grant programs while simultaneously undermining the safety of some of the most vulnerable victims of violence. The bill would roll back important protections for immigrant victims — putting them in a worse position than under current law, and excludes other vulnerable populations such as tribal women, college students experiencing abuse, and LGBTQ. In short, this legislation seeks to fight domestic violence, but only if the sponsors agree with the race, immigration status, sexual orientation, or gender identity of the victims.
Leader Pelosi on today’s vote:
Today, House Republicans again decided to pursue a partisan, ideological agenda at the expense of the safety of America’s women, children, and families.
Rather than take up the bipartisan, Senate-passed reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, Republicans voted along party lines to roll back critical protections in the law and limit its provisions to certain classes of individuals. The Republican effort to politicize this issue does a disservice to our nation’s women.
House Democrats have put forward a different path, proposing legislation that mirrors the measure passed by the Senate. Our bill extends defense against domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking; includes provisions to expand the classes of victims who would be protected – including Native Americans and the LGBT community; and ensures protections for immigrants affected by domestic violence.
For 19 years, the Violence Against Women Act has taken violence against women and children out of the shadows and shone bright sunlight upon it. The legislation has strengthened communities, saved lives and money, and advanced the security of all Americans. And we must reauthorize and strengthen it without further delay.