Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after House Republicans released their legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Earlier this month, the Senate passed a strong, bipartisan version of the bill by a vote of 78-22 -- including every woman in the Senate and a majority of Senate Republicans. More than 200 House Democrats are cosponsors of companion legislation in the House.
"House Republicans just can't help themselves. Even with a strong, bipartisan bill passed by the Senate for the second Congress in a row, even with countless women in need of support and protection, Republicans are still turning the Violence Against Women Act into a partisan political football. But we cannot allow House Republican leaders to play games with the safety and security of American families.
"More than 500 days after this landmark law expired, House Republicans have proposed what amounts to a non-starter for our nation's women. The Republican plan omits protections for the LGBT community, offers inadequate assistance to Native American women, and leaves out critical human trafficking provisions. It was written in secret; it is not a compromise; it is not bipartisan; and it will not become law. America's mothers and daughters deserve better.
"The Senate has done its part -- with the support of every woman in the chamber and a majority of Republicans. House Democrats have put companion legislation on the table. Now, House Republicans stand as the only obstacles between women and a strong reauthorization of this critical legislation. Let's act now to ensure that no woman is ever forced to suffer in silence in the face of domestic violence and abuse."