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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4970, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012, and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4310, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. BIGGERT. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

Madam Speaker, I am disappointed in this closed rule for VAWA. I am concerned that the bill, even with the changes made in the manager's amendment, doesn't reflect everything that we've learned over the past 5 years in terms of what works best for victims or prosecutors.

Over the past several months, I sat down with advocates in my district to go section by section through the Senate reauthorization and discussed what works and what doesn't work. They strongly support provisions that would clarify equal treatment for LGBT individuals, bolster enforcement on Native American reservations, and ensure that victims aren't deported simply for reporting domestic abuse. I see no reason to exclude these provisions from a House bill. Our victim service providers on the front lines really just want to know who they can help and that they can help everyone who comes through the front door.

Last night, I offered an amendment that would have modernized the bill's definitions to reflect the input of victim service providers, including special protections for immigrant victims, and clarified that LGBT individuals can be served by VAWA.

I previously worked on the authorization of VAWA, which incorporated good ideas. That authorization was never a partisan issue, and it shouldn't be now.


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