The North Dakota Council on Abused Women's Services (NDCAWS) today applauded Congressman Rick Berg's leadership on the Violence Against Women Act, and commended him for voting against the House version earlier today.
"NDCAWS and our 21 crisis intervention centers are pleased Congressman Berg listened to his constituents and did what was right for North Dakota," said Janelle Moos, the Executive Director of the North Dakota Council on Abused Women's Services. "He took the time to meet with us earlier this week, and up until the final vote, Congressman Berg was in constant contact with our office as well as Greg Diehl from the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center in Fargo. HR 4970 wasn't right for North Dakota service providers or victims, and I appreciate Congressman Berg choosing the difficult alternative and recognizing the need to put good policy over Washington politics."
Upset with the recent political back-and-forth on what has historically been a strongly bipartisan bill, Berg stated, "Last time the Violence Against Women Act was up for re-authorization, it passed with unanimous support in the Senate, and only 4 votes against in the House. This is commonsense, must pass legislation that has never been controversial. Yet today, there are those on both sides of the aisle that have used this important piece of legislation as a political tool for attack campaigns and the all too typical partisan back-and-forth that have North Dakotans so frustrated with Washington. This legislation is way too important to have it get drug into the mess of Washington's political games and that's why I voted against my party today to say enough is enough. Quit the political games and let's pass this important bill the right way."
Earlier this week, Berg met with the directors of 21 crisis intervention centers in North Dakota to discuss the importance of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The last time the Violence Against Women Act was up for reauthorization in 2005, it passed unanimously in the Senate and by a vote of 415-4 in the House. Today's version passed by a vote of 222-205. It will be necessary for this bill to be reconciled with the Senate passed bill before going back to both chambers for final passage to send to the President.