Representatives Sandy Adams (FL-24), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) and Kristi Noem (SD-AL) released the following statements after House Republicans introduced their five-year reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), H.R. 4970. The House's reauthorization, which Adams is the sponsor of, aims to improve VAWA, while still keeping important programs intact. Additionally, this legislation includes bipartisan elements of the Senate's version, S. 1925, while excluding controversial provisions that veer from VAWA's original intent.
"As someone who has faced domestic violence and who served in law enforcement for 17 years, I can assure you that the reauthorization of VAWA is needed," said Rep. Sandy Adams. "Over thirty years ago, domestic violence was not openly discussed. Since 1994, VAWA has helped bring to light an issue that is often underreported or not reported at all. According to a recent study, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States. With alarming statistics like these, the need for VAWA is clear. That is why I am proud to introduce the House's reauthorization, which aims to make important changes to VAWA, while ensuring that taxpayer resources help victims -- not Washington bureaucrats. It is my hope that my colleagues in both the House and Senate can put politics aside and support this lifesaving legislation. Too many lives are at stake for us to give anything less."
"I'm so proud to stand beside my House Republican colleagues to reauthorize this very important piece of legislation," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference. "As we look forward, I encourage the bill's swift and immediate passage so as to preserve its original objective: the protection of true victims of domestic violence all across this country. And our bill will do exactly that."
"Helping prevent violence and protect those who suffer from it is at the heart of the Violence Against Women Act," said Rep. Kristi Noem. "For nearly two decades this legislation has provided education, training and assistance programs to help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking without discrimination. This reauthorization carries on that tradition, while also making key improvements that ensure victims are the priority, not Washington bureaucrats. It's wrong to play politics with an issue this important, and I hope that we can all come together to ensure this legislation continues to protect victims as it was intended for years to come."
The Judiciary Committee plans on marking up the legislation the week of May 7, and it will be considered on the House floor the following week.