501 days ago House Republicans let the Violence Against Women Act expire. 501 days.
The Senate is poised to pass a bipartisan VAWA bill today. So where are House Republicans? From BuzzFeed:
House Speaker John Boehner has not mentioned the Violence Against Women Act since last summer — even as reauthorization of the expired law has stalled at the hands of House Republicans. [2/6]
The House Democrats’ VAWA reauthorization bill currently has 194 Democratic cosponsors and zero Republican cosponsors. And why exactly is the House GOP Leadership blocking the way? From the New York Times:
“Let’s just talk politics here,” said Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, who has been leading negotiations to end the impasse. “This will have passed the Senate. The president’s for it. And we’re holding up a domestic violence bill that should be routine because you don’t want to help Native women who are the most vulnerable over a philosophical point?” …
Mr. Cole, whose state has one of the largest Indian populations in the country…said some of his colleagues seem to “fear Indians are going to take out 500 years of mistreatment on us through this.”
“It’s that kind of fear, veiled in constitutional theories,” he said. [2/10]
Some Republican members are finally urging their Leadership to bring the VAWA reauthorization bill to the floor, but, so far, Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor refuse to do so.
This bill deserves a vote on the floor. The time is now.