Is the GOP Punishing Women for the Election?

House Republicans have picked up right where they left off last session, by refusing to compromise with a bipartisan coalition of Senators to extend the Violence Against Women Act.

Six months after Senate Democrats passed their version of the bill that extends domestic violence protections to LGBT women, undocumented immigrants and Native Americans, the two sides couldn’t be further apart. Rather than expand protections for domestic violence victims, House Republicans narrow who can and cannot benefit under the bill. The House Republicans’ version also makes it more difficult to report abuse and seek help in some instances, cuts funding for programs and scales back protections altogether.

Despite the differences in the two versions, Senators from both parties have reached out to House Speaker John Boehner, urging him to take up the Senate version so that critical and popular programs do not fall victim to political grandstanding. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) urged the Speaker in June to put politics aside and do the right thing.  “Saving the lives of victims of domestic violence should be above politics.  Yet politics seem to have gotten in the way of House passage of the bipartisan Senate Violence Against Women (VAWA) Reauthorization Act,” Leahy and Murkowski wrote to Boehner. “We cannot afford to let another day go by.  We urge you to swiftly allow for an up-or-down vote in the House on the Senate’s bipartisan VAWA Reauthorization Act.”

Obviously Speaker Boehner has no intention of doing the right thing and getting the VAWA moving toward passage.

Because the two sides can’t come to a compromise the future of the extremely popular bi-partisan measure is in serious doubt. And like with most of legislation to come from the Tea Party-dominated House, the fight over VAWA is as much symbolic as one that puts women in harms way. Failing to extend VAWA means funding that goes toward state and local domestic abuse prevention and treatment programs will dry up. But that’s exactly the point.

As Robin Marty points out, conservatives are punishing women for the election. In Ohio, Republicans renewed efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and pass more abortion restrictions. States like Texas have decided to forgo healthcare reform altogether for their citizens, opting out of the federal exchanges. And now House Republicans are doing their best to dismantle one of the most successful and popular bi-partisan, pro-woman pieces of legislation in our history.

When Mitt Romney blames his loss on the fact that President Obama campaigned promising women voters “gifts” like free contraception and Paul Ryan laments the “urban vote,” it is going to take a lot more than a Bobby Jindal scolding to suggest that the GOP is anything but a party of spiteful old men.


Related Stories:

Senate Presses House GOP On VAWA

House Pases VAWA Bill So Bad Men’s Rights Group Endorses It

House GOP Block Domestic Violence Spending Bump


Photo from Wikimedia Commons

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Edvanir L.
Edvanir L.2 years ago

Speaker Boehner did it: He let the vote happen. But also brought their own bill to the floor, and they had to vote for both. Now some Reps who voted against the Democratic version are saying they voted for it.

Women BE AWARE of their tactics: Those Reps voted for their version of the bill - that excluded lesbians and native Americans - and they have no intention of explain that to you!

Duane B.
.2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

faith v.
faith v.2 years ago

What a question!

The GOP punishes women for everything else, starting with not being men.

Why should they not hold women responsible for their own pathetic failures?

Ken W.
Ken W.2 years ago

This should not have to be a ?????????????? !!!!!

Lynn D.
Lynn D.2 years ago

We need to cut the party crap and work as a team for America, we're all Americans! Thanks for article !

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill2 years ago

The Senate hasn't passed a budget in over 3 years and this is what the republicans are being criticized for? What about the government's addiction to overspending out tax dollars?

Holly Lawrence
Holly Lawrence3 years ago

Since when does the GOP even know that women exist?????????????????

Lika S.
Lika S.3 years ago

Yet they still refuse to put stiffer punishments on rapists, and criminalize the women for speaking up for ourselves...

Samir Nassir
Past Member 3 years ago

We are in the 21st century women are still struggling to get their rights,thanks.

Stephanie L.
Stephanie L.3 years ago

I love these comments. It's true, they're destroying themselves. We're going to get these people out and give the president a Democratic house, there's no option left and they're making it so easy.