Once Again, Senate Passes VAWA Reauthorization with Strong Bipartisan Support, Identical Bill Still Stalled in House by GOP Leadership
Following the overwhelming bipartisan passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization in the Senate today, Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) called upon Speaker of the House John Boehner to immediately bring the Senate-passed bill to the floor of the House of Representatives. Last month in one of his first legislative actions, Congressman Kildee cosponsored H.R. 11, which is nearly identical to the bill passed by the Senate. S. 47 passed on a strong, 78-22 bipartisan vote, with 23 Republicans joining 53 Democrats, two Independents, in voting for passage.
"The Senate has once again acted first and passed a strong, inclusive reauthorization of VAWA. Speaker Boehner should immediately bring this Senate-passed bill to the floor of the House for an up-or-down vote," said Congressman Kildee. "We cannot continue to delay -- every day we wait is another day victims of domestic violence, dating violence and sexual assault go without the much-needed protections they deserve."
The bill passed today is nearly identical to legislation approved by the Senate in the 112th Congress; However, GOP House leadership failed to bring the bill to the floor for a vote, allowing VAWA to expire.
The House bill, which currently has 194 cosponsors, would significantly strengthen the ability of federal, state and local law enforcement to combat instances of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. It includes additional provisions to protect tribal members, immigrants, and members of the LGBT community from domestic violence.
VAWA, a landmark piece of legislation, was first passed by Congress in 1994 and subsequently reauthorized twice, each time with strong bipartisan support. The law significantly transformed the nation's response to violence against women and provided significant resources to states and local communities to combat violence.