The U.S. House Republican version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 passed 222-205 Wednesday (May 16) heavily along party lines.
Hawaii's U.S. Reps. Mazie Hirono and Colleen Hanabusa voted no. Hanabusa's office said the GOP bill reauthorizes VAWA for five years "but cuts funding to important programs that provide prevention education, youth outreach, and housing assistance to victims who need to get out of their homes."
Press release quote from Hanabusa:
We should be able to stand united in our commitment to protecting all women from violence in their homes and communities, regardless of their immigration status or sexual preference. This has never been a question in the past, as the Violence Against Women Act has never been a partisan issue until House Republicans in this Congress made it one. It is simply wrong to put any political agenda before respect for women.
The Senate passed a bi-partisan bill with the support of all Democrats and fifteen Senate Republicans, including every one of the Senate GOP women. That is the version we should be voting on.
UPDATE: Press release quote from Hirono:
This legislation hurts victims of violence and abuse by rolling back current protections and failing to address serious gaps in safeguards and services. For example, immigrant women will lose protections that empower them to speak out against their abusers, meaning more women will silently suffer repeated violence and abuse. I think many people would agree that abusers should never be given more power than their victims.
Hirono's office notes that the Senate version included expanded protections for victims of domestic violence.