On Tuesday May 8th, Congressman Jon Runyan (R-NJ) introduced an amendment to H.R. 5326 that would increase funding for the Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs within the Department of Justice without increasing the deficit. H.R. 5326 is the Appropriations Bill to set funding for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. Rep. Runyan's amendment was passed by a voice vote.
"I am pleased that my amendment was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support," said Congressman Runyan. "It is important that our country takes a firm stance against domestic violence and supporting these programs within the Department of Justice is a first step. It is also important that we reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act to ensure that these programs are continued. This is why I joined a number of my colleagues to implore the Judiciary Committee to move the reauthorization legislation forward sooner rather than later."
Representative Runyan's amendment would increase the funding of the Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs from $415 Million to $420 Million, which would bring funding closer to Fiscal Years 2011 and 2010 levels. Congressman Runyan's amendment would not increase the deficit and merely transfers funding from another program. President Barack Obama requested funding of $412.5 Million for these programs in his own budget proposal.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was originally authorized in 1994 with bipartisan support. Currently the legislation to reauthorize VAWA has passed the United States Senate and is awaiting action by the House of Representatives.