Partisan Showdown Looms Over Domestic Violence Bill

House passes its version of renewal bill despite veto threat
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 17, 2012 5:45 AM CDT
Partisan Showdown Looms Over Domestic Violence Bill
"As a member of this body and a survivor of sexual assault … it’s traumatic to be here today and to find my colleagues not taking the recommended updates," said Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.)    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Violence Against Women Act, which provides funding to protect women from domestic violence and passed Congress easily in its prior two reauthorizations, is headed for Congress' latest partisan showdown. The House passed its version of the bill by a 222-205 vote yesterday over a veto threat from the White House, reports Politico. Democrats complain that the Republican version of the bill, unlike the version that has already passed the Senate, doesn't include additional protections for abused gays, Native Americans, and illegal immigrants.

Some 23 Republicans rejected the House bill, while six Democrats voted for it. “I urge Congress to come together to pass a bipartisan measure that protects all victims,” said Joe Biden, who, as a senator, wrote the 1994 law. "VAWA has been improved each time it’s been reauthorized, and this time should be no different." GOP Rep. Sandy Adams—a survivor of domestic violence—accused Democrats of concocting "a phony war on women." House and Senate negotiators will now have to hammer out a version of the bill that can pass both chambers. (More domestic violence stories.)

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