Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, today urged his colleagues to strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. The House of Representatives today voted on a Republican bill to extend the Act, which was opposed by women's advocacy groups, religious leaders, civic organizations and the White House because it weakens certain protections of current law and fails to extend protections to LGBT and tribal populations. Larsen, who voted against the bill, spoke on the House floor urging his colleagues to strengthen the bill.
"The Violence Against Women Act has saved thousands of women's lives and has made sure that domestic abusers meet justice," Larsen said. "We have an opportunity to strengthen that law now, extending protections to vulnerable tribal, LGBT, and other marginalized communities. We must strengthen protections for victims, not strengthen abusers' hands. Unlike the bipartisan Senate version, the bill the House considered today fails to make the improvements we need.
"It is a shame that something as important as protecting victims of domestic violence has fallen into a partisan dispute. Passage of the Violence Against Women Act has always been bipartisan. We must set aside this partisan bill and move forward together to strengthen the Violence Against Women Act in a bipartisan manner."
In his floor statement, Larsen spoke about the importance of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act provisions of the bill which he and Sen. Maria Cantwell successfully included in the 2006 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT