U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) today joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), and other House Democrats to reintroduce the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA Reauthorization).
"Following the reintroduction of the VAWA Reauthorization, the House of Representatives should immediately begin working to pass this bill," said Cicilline, who is an original co-sponsor of the VAWA Reauthorization introduced earlier today. "Now that the 2012 campaign is behind us, Republicans and Democrats should work together to pass comprehensive legislation that protects all victims of domestic violence and sexual assault."
Although the U.S. Senate passed a VAWA reauthorization bill by a bipartisan vote in April 2012, authorization for the program lapsed when the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed legislation that did not expand access to resources for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Unlike the bipartisan Senate VAWA Reauthorization, which every female Republican senator voted to support, the more narrow House legislation did not expand protections for immigrants, LGBTQ victims, or Native American women.
During his first term in Congress, Cicilline consistently demonstrated an unflinching commitment to women's issues through his support for the Equal Rights Amendment, the Paycheck Fairness Act, and Title X family planning programs. Cicilline has pledged to continue supporting these and other issues important for women as he begins his second term.
"Victims of violent crime should never be used as political bargaining chips in Washington," added Cicilline. "It is my hope that Republicans and Democrats will work together to build consensus on this important issue sooner rather than later."
The VAWA Reauthorization introduced in the House is a companion to legislation that was also introduced in the United States Senate.