Mr. LOWENTHAL. Mr. Speaker, I stand here today to urge my colleagues to bring the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA, a bill that would provide critical services to all victims of domestic abuse, to the House floor. My friends, my colleagues, my constituents, it is time to reauthorize.
I want to applaud all the Senate Democrats, all the female Senators, and the vast majority of Republican Senate Members who believe that VAWA is good for the safety of all women, regardless of their sexual orientation, their ethnicity, or tribal heritage.
As for the altered House version, which clearly rejects the equal protections outlined in the Senate version, it is unfair, unjust, and unacceptable.
I have a few questions for my colleagues in the House who altered this bipartisan Senate VAWA bill:
Why do our LGBT, Native American, and immigrant brothers and sisters not deserve the same protections?
Why are they exceptions in your eyes?
And why must they continually be denied the same freedoms and liberties that we all enjoy under our Constitution?
By reauthorizing the Senate version of VAWA:
We can make sure our LGBT brothers and sisters receive appropriate care when they are victimized;
We can make sure that immigrants, who so desperately want to be a part of this great Nation, will not have to hide behind their abusers in fear of deportation;
And, we can make sure that the three out of five American Indian women who will experience domestic violence in their lifetime can have the peace of mind to know that their abusers will not be given a way out of prosecution.
My colleagues, this is not politics and this certainly is not a game. This is simply the right thing to do.