“Reauthorization of the Violence Against Woman Act will undoubtedly improve our nation’s ability to combat domestic violence and protect its victims. While the version of this legislation passed earlier this year by the U.S. Senate is worthy of support, I voted for H.R. 4970 because its passage in the House brings Congress a step closer to completing work on this important matter. Now, the two chambers must work together to reconcile differences in their approaches to VAWA reauthorization.”Sounds like pretty basic stuff, right? Not in Congress, where up is down and left is right.
This bill, which has breezed through Congress in previous years, largely went along party lines this time. Democrats claim Republicans hate women, even though some of them are even married. Republicans accuse Dems of playing politics.
The Christian Science Monitor sifts through the political rhetoric and explains the difference between the House and Senate versions.
* The Senate adds language that explicitly mentions gay and transgender Americans for protection, while the House version is gender neutral. Republicans contend that their measure allows all Americans to receive protection because it does not specify who qualifies for various programs. Democrats, however, say that local law enforcement could use the lack of specificity to discriminate against gay or transgender people.Dent has no strong objection to the Senate version, according to his statement. Conciliatory by nature, this type of political rancor has to drive him nuts.
* The House bill does not include a Senate provision that would allow Native American women to take American citizens who abuse them to court within the tribal legal system. Republicans say that the Senate measure is unconstitutional and replace it with a proposal that allows Native American women to apply for protection orders from local US courts. Democrats contend that without the Senate’s proposals, Native American women abused on an Indian reservation are often left without legal recourse.
* The House bill does not allow for a path to citizenship for illegal women who have been abused and agree to cooperate with the police investigation of the crime. Moreover, it holds the cap on temporary visas offered to women cooperating in legal investigations to 10,000, below the Senate’s increased 15,000 level. Republicans say the citizenship provision is akin to amnesty for illegal immigrants. Democrats, on the other hand, say that women fearing deportation may never come forward to take abusers off the street under the House bill.