On Wednesday House Republicans passed their bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, but unlike the Senate-passed version, the House bill does little to actually protect women from domestic violence.
The bill passed 221-205 on a largely partisan vote. Six Democrats voted for it and 23 Republicans opposed it. Just two GOP congresswomen voted against it: Reps. Judy Biggert (Ill.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.).
The White House had threatened a veto of the House version earlier in the week arguing that it “rolls back existing law and removes long-standing protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.” Vice President Joe Biden, an original sponsor of VAWA in 1994 issued a statement attacking the measure. “The House has passed a version of the Violence Against Women Act that will roll back critical provisions to help victims of abuse. I urge Congress to come together to pass a bipartisan measure that protects all victims. VAWA has been improved each time it’s been reauthorized, and this time should be no different,” Biden said.
The House version is so bad that over 320 advocacy groups, including faith-based organizations opposed the bill. Further proof of just how horrible this bill is came Tuesday when the National Coalition of Men endorsed the measure as a means of protecting the “true victims” of domestic violence–heterosexual men.
Now both the House and the Senate have to figure out a way to reconcile the two versions of the legislation, a task that right now seems all but impossible.
Photo from jronaldlee via flickr.