Yesterday House Republicans voted down an amendment to an appropriations bill that would have increased funding for the Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs by $20 million, leaving no doubt that the GOP in no way takes the issue of violence against women seriously.
The House Appropriations Bill for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and Science for Fiscal Year 2013 reserves $420 million for grants under the Violence Against Women Act. As Laura Bassett reports, this is $15 million less than those programs received in funding for fiscal year 2010.
“This is a question of values and priorities. What kind of message do we want to send to women across the country?” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), who pushed for the funding increase, said on the House floor before the vote. “Do we value women’s safety? Are we willing to make sure we have the resources needed?”
Nadler suggested Congress come up with the additional $20 million in VAWA funding by cutting unnecessary administrative expenses. “The $20 million increase for VAWA is offset by cuts to administrative accounts,” he said. “We have heard from our colleagues of the need to cut government spending, to cut administrative expenses, to prevent the types of excesses we have seen recently in the GSA and other agencies with Las Vegas conference extravaganzas. Well, now is your chance to put your money where your mouth is and shift funding from these types of administrative expenses to preventing violence against women.”
Nadler was really handing the Republicans a softball here but still the GOP chose to take the anti-woman position. Had they supported this measure they could have used this as an example of sound government budgeting (spending increases offset by savings elsewhere) and gone on the offensive against claims they are playing politics with domestic violence.
Instead they chose to play politics with domestic violence.
Photo from milena milhaylova via flickr.