Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after the Senate voted to reauthorize and extend the Violence Against Women Act. The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 68 to 31:
"Today, a bipartisan coalition in the Senate voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Now, It's time for House Republicans to follow the lead of the Senate and bring this bipartisan bill up for a vote without further delay.
"House Democrats, led by Congresswoman Gwen Moore, have proposed legislation that mirrors the bill passed by the Senate. Both bills extend defense against domestic abuse, sexual assault, and stalking; include provisions to expand the classes of victims who would be protected -- including Native Americans and the LGBT community; and ensure protections for immigrants affected by domestic violence.
"The repudiation by the Senate -- on a bipartisan basis -- of a partisan Republican substitute that sought to weaken VAWA and limit protections of certain classes of individuals should also be a clear message to House Republicans that any similar effort politicizes VAWA and does a disservice to our nation's women.
"For 19 years, this legislation has taken violence against women and children out of the shadows and shone bright sunlight upon it. It has strengthened communities and provided critical, life-saving support to victims of violence. It has saved lives, saved money, and advanced the safety of all Americans -- and that's why we must reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act."