Today, Senate Bill 47, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), passed in the United States House of Representatives by a vote of 286 to 138. Congressman Kevin Cramer voted in favor of the legislation. The five year reauthorization of VAWA further protects victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking by streamlining grants, improving investigation, prosecution and victim services, and enhancing penalties against offenders.
Earlier today, Congressman Kevin Cramer voted in favor of the McMorris Rodgers amendment, which, among other improvements, would help eliminate potential constitutional challenges to S.47. Specifically, critics of the tribal inherent sovereignty language of the bill are fearful of the potential due process challenges it may create, thereby inadvertently placing in jeopardy future convictions under the act. Unfortunately, a majority of House members failed to support this position.
"My primary goal today, was to improve the overall content of the Violence Against Women Act. Regrettably, the House amendment was unsuccessful. My vote in support of the Senate version was due to a few reasons," Cramer said. "Like the House version, the Senate legislation passed today protects victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking, safeguards constitutional rights to ensure justice for victims and promotes educational awareness to prevent violence and improve services for young victims," Cramer continued. "Although I am the first to admit that this version of VAWA is not ideal, our efforts today reflect the best we could achieve given the circumstances. This issue is very important to my family and me and I am dedicated to promoting policies to ensure a safeguard for victims of domestic abuse."
Congressman Kevin Cramer serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources and the Science, Space and Technology (SST) Committees, including the Indian and Alaska Native Affairs SST Subcommittee.