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Public Statements

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DAVIS of Illinois. Madam Speaker, I cannot support the H.R. 4970, the Republican bill that rolls back critical protections for domestic violence victims. Until now, reauthorization of the Violence against Women Act has involved a strong, bipartisan effort. In sharp contrast to this bipartisan history, the Republican Leadership aggressively is pushing a bill that weakens current law, shifts power into the hands of abusers, delays or denies protection to battered spouses and victims of heinous crimes such as rape and sexual assault, prevents law enforcement from gaining the cooperation of many immigrant victims of serious crimes, and leaves more dangerous criminals on the streets to strike again. This is unacceptable and undermines the intent of the bill to protect all victims of domestic and sexual violence.

In April 2012, the Senate passed by a vote of 68 to 31 a bipartisan bill that advanced the Federal government's commitment to protecting all victims--a bill that strengthens current law. In sharp contrast to the bipartisan Senate bill, the Republican bill fails to include key protections for Native American, immigrant, and LGBT victims of domestic violence. Even with the Manager's Amendment, the Republican bill undermines key protects for many domestic violence victims, making them less safe and tarnishing our American value of protecting the vulnerable. It is no wonder that over 100 organizations oppose the House Republican bill.

So, I stand with the diverse group of organizations--including the NAACP, the National Women's Law Center, the Human Rights Campaign, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors to strongly oppose the House Republican bill and to support the bipartisan Senate bill. As policymakers, we should be protecting our citizens, not decreasing their safety.


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