The Violence Against Women Act first became law in 1994 and has since been routinely reauthorized without controversy. By providing resources for law enforcement to combat spousal abuse, it has protected countless women from domestic violence.
But the 2012 re-authorization, like many initiatives of the just-concluded Congress, fell prey to House Republican resistance — in this case, to expanding the Act to cover more women. In the end, House GOP leaders refused bring to a vote a bill that passed the Senate with a bipartisan supermajority.
“The House Republican leadership’s failure to take up and pass the Senate’s bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), a Democratic leadership member, told TPM. “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.”