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GOP obstruction kills 18-year-old Violence Against Women Act

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The current term of Congress ended on Wednesday without re-authorizing the Violence Against Women Act, a nearly two-decade-old measure to aid victims of domestic and sexual violence.

Though the Senate approved the VAWA last year with bipartisan support, Republicans in the U.S. House had opposed the legislation because it added new protections for illegal immigrants, LGBT individuals, and Native Americans.

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“The House Republican leadership’s failure to take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable,” Sen. Patty Murray said in a statement to The Maddow Blog. “This is a bill that passed with 68 votes in the Senate and that extends the bill’s protections to 30 million more women. But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates. No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first.”

Rather than vote on the Senate version of the VAWA, House Republicans passed their own watered-down version of the bill that omitted the new provisions. The White House warned it would veto the House bill, which was opposed by groups like the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, the American Bar Association, and others because it ignored vulnerable populations.

Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) were reportedly in last-minute talks to resolve the differences between the House and Senate bills, but nothing materialized before the legislative session ended.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who co-authored the VAWA along with Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID), said last month he would re-introduce the legislation in the next Congress.

“We will continue our discussions, and we will work tirelessly to have a good bill enacted into law. This is not the end of our efforts to renew and improve VAWA to more effectively help all victims of domestic and sexual violence,” Leahy said.

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“We have seen enough violence. If we cannot get the Leahy-Crapo bill over the finish line this year, we will come back next year, and we will get it done.”


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Trump is ‘untethered to reality’ and his Thanksgiving rant proves it: CNN’s Berman

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CNN host John Berman on Friday lit into President Donald Trump for going on an unhinged Thanksgiving rant about the 2020 election in which he once again falsely claimed that he won.

Berman in particular zeroed in on Trump's seething anger at Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason, who asked the president on Thursday if he'd concede that he lost the election.

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Trump probably won’t try to pardon himself for one major reason

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With less than two months remaining in his term, President Donald Trump may try to become the first president to pardon himself -- but there's a catch.

Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast discussed the president's potential pardons, and the risks involved with granting himself a pardon, on their podcast "The New Abnormal," posted on The Daily Beast.

“The essential thing of a pardon is it involves the admission of a crime," Wilson said, "and so he has to admit that he violated the law."

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2020 Election

Busted again: Perdue traded hundreds of thousands worth of bank stocks while on Senate Banking Committee

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David Perdue, one of two multimillionaire Georgia Republican senators facing insider-trading scrutiny ahead of runoff elections in January, traded hundreds of thousands of dollars in bank stock while passing pro-bank legislation on the Senate Banking Committee, financial disclosures show.
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