Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today stated his strong opposition to the House Republicans' watered down version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization, which would strip protections for Native American, immigrant, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) victims of domestic violence. In one of his first legislative actions as a newly-elected Member of Congress, Congressman Kildee cosponsored a House Democratic version of the VAWA reauthorization, which includes the protections stripped from the House Republicans' bill and is nearly identical to a bill passed in the Senate earlier this month on an overwhelming, bipartisan 78-22 vote.
"I hope the House GOP leadership decides to drop their discriminatory substitute and bring the bipartisan, Senate-passed VAWA bill to the floor immediately for a vote," Congressman Kildee said. "All women deserve protections from violence -- we shouldn't be picking and choosing which women receive basic protections under the law. The House should pass an inclusive VAWA reauthorization and get it to President Obama for his signature. America's women shouldn't have to wait any longer."
Earlier this month, a majority of Senate Republicans joined 53 Democrats and two Independents in voting for the passage of S. 47, the Senate's version of the VAWA reauthorization. The House is scheduled to consider the House Republicans' partisan VAWA bill tomorrow. Passing an inclusive VAWA bill has been one of Congressman Kildee's top priorities since being sworn into Congress.
VAWA, a landmark piece of legislation, was first passed by Congress in 1994 and subsequently reauthorized twice, each time with strong bipartisan support. The law significantly transformed the nation's response to violence against women and provided significant resources to states and local communities to combat violence.