Leahy, the lead author of the Senate’s bill, along with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) sent a bipartisan letter to House Speaker John Boenher urging him to bring up the Senate-passed bill. The House passed its own version of the legislation last month, but that version dramatically rolls back domestic violence protections and fails to include key provisions to protect immigrant women and members of the LGBT community from domestic violence.
“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.”
House Republicans have made it clear they have no intention on expanding any sort of domestic violence protections, despite overwhelming support for VAWA renewal. Much like their radical anti-abortion platform that is dressed up as “protecting” women, their opposition to VAWA renewal is disturbing in the vision it perpetuates.
Domestic violence is not a partisan issue, nor is extending protections to all those impacted by it a matter of anything other than humane politics. Speaker Boehner and his minions in the House need to clearly and specifically answer to the American people as to why they believe only a small slice of domestic violence victims deserve protection and why House Republicans are comfortable embracing and enabling abusers.
Photo from Keith Allison via flickr.