Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) applauded House passage of the bipartisan, Senate-passed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization, which now heads to President Obama's desk for his signature.
"Today's bipartisan vote marks a major victory for victims of domestic violence," Kuster said. "For nearly two decades, the Violence Against Women Act has extended critical protections to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. After failing to act on this common sense legislation in the previous Congress, I'm very pleased that Republicans and Democrats were able to put politics aside to get this done."
The bill passed today by the House significantly strengthens the ability of the federal government, the states, law enforcement, and service providers to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. It also includes provisions to ensure that all victims of domestic violence get the protection they need -- including new protections for women in tribal communities, immigrants and members of the LGBT community.
On Wednesday, Kuster joined a group of 49 freshman Representatives in urging House leadership to bring the Senate-passed bill to a vote. In a letter to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor, the group reiterated the freshman class's commitment to working across the aisle to find common sense solutions to the challenges we face.
"As freshmen members of Congress, we are disappointed that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that is scheduled to be on the floor this week is not the Senate version of the bill," the freshmen wrote in a letter to Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor. "We are acutely aware that we were elected to work together in a bipartisan fashion to address the needs of all Americans. Bringing a bill to the floor that varies from the Senate version only exacerbates the delay in providing needed assistance to communities across the country."