Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:  John Larson
Date: May 16, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Madam Speaker, today I rise in opposition to H.R. 4970, and I encourage the majority to instead take up the bipartisan version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization that passed the Senate. I would like to thank my colleague, GWEN MOORE for her steadfast and unyielding work on this issue, and I was proud to join her as a cosponsor of the version of the VAWA reauthorization that she introduced in the House.

Since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act has been reauthorized without controversy, almost entirely devoid of any partisan rancor or division. It is an essential piece of legislation that seeks to protect the victims of abuse and offer them much-needed support. Since its original passage, and during each of the previous reauthorizations, Congress has continued to improve the VAWA by increasing protections for women every time it has come to the floor.

This year, both the bipartisan Senate bill and Congresswoman MOORE's bill offer reforms that make certain that when we pass a law that protects all women, we mean all women--with no exceptions. The reauthorization should include the new language proposed in those bills which would guarantee that the law will not discriminate against any woman based on her race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.

Madam Speaker, it is my hope that my Republican colleagues will end this partisan gamesmanship on an issue that has always been, and should always be a bipartisan one. I join my colleagues, as well as hundreds of organizations and groups, and women across the country in opposing this bill.

I urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with us to pass the bipartisan Senate bill which ensures equal protection to all women in the United States of America.

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