Later today, Congressman John Tierney will oppose the Republican version of the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (H.R. 4970), which attempts to roll back many critical protections for women and fails to include needed provisions for other vulnerable groups such as gay and lesbian Americans.
"This bill is an affront to women, and it unfortunately continues the House Republicans' pattern of putting extreme ideological interests ahead of common sense policies. Instead of advancing this partisan bill, which the President has already vowed to veto, and which hundreds of organizations strongly oppose, Republicans should get serious about protecting victims of abuse and bring the bipartisan Senate bill to the House floor for an up or down vote," Congressman Tierney said.
This reauthorization legislation will roll back many longstanding protections for women including confidentiality provisions for immigrant women seeking protection from abuse and it fails to include key provisions, which are included in the Senate-passed bill, to protect the LGBT community. Recent studies show that LGBT victims of domestic violence face discrimination when accessing services. The additional provisions in the Senate bill are responsive to the real needs of real victims and have the support of law enforcement and service providers around the country.
In the past, VAWA has enjoyed bipartisan support with other bills to reauthorize it and strengthen certain provisions passing nearly unanimously in 2000 and 2005. Unfortunately, the bill Republicans are bringing to the Floor today rolls back critical provisions and is opposed by hundreds of organizations across the country, including the National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, National Association of Evangelicals, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the National Organization for Women Foundation.