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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4970, Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012, and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 4310, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. ELLMERS. Thank you to my colleague from North Carolina.

Madam Speaker, I rise in support of the rule and the underlying bill and call for the passage of H.R. 4970, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012. Since its enactment in 1994, VAWA has helped many women escape abuse and enabled them to seek help through its victim services program.

We're here today debating something that is a good policy and common sense and should be supported in the same bipartisan manner that we have seen throughout the two decades since its inception. Violence against women does not occur along party lines, and neither should reauthorization of these programs. We must work together in a bipartisan manner to protect women from domestic violence, rape, and stalking. Partisan posturing should not be placed above the urgent needs of these victims.

The House's reauthorization makes several key improvements to the Senate bill and nearly doubles the resources for eliminating the backlog of unprocessed rape evidence kits, while cracking down on the fraud identified in the immigration program. This bill also brings great accountability to the grant administration by ensuring that funding is spent on the victims, not Washington bureaucrats. The House's reauthorization of VAWA is and always will be about the victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

I am proud to support this bill and will continue to fight and protect women and victims of abuse through commonsense legislation.


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