Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after the 112th Congress ended without the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). An expanded and improved version of VAWA passed the Senate last year with strong bipartisan support, yet Republican leaders refused to bring it to the House floor for a vote:
"The end of the 112th Congress makes it official: the Republican majority has refused to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Their failure to move forward on a bipartisan approach to the VAWA Reauthorization leaves millions of American women without vital defense against domestic violence.
"For nearly two decades, this landmark measure has brought violence against women out of the shadows, affording women protection against abuse and providing law enforcement with the tools to combat domestic violence. Over the past year, Democrats and Republicans worked to expand these protections to LGBT Americans, immigrants, and Native Americans, yet House Republican leaders failed to bring this bipartisan legislation to the Floor.
"As the 113th Congress begins, let us honor our oath to protect and defend all Americans by ensuring a secure future for American women. Let us hope that Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle can very quickly work together to restore, enhance, and extend the provisions of the Violence Against Women Act."