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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


Ms. CASTOR of Florida. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Madam Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule and urge a ``no'' vote on the flawed Violence Against Women Act that my Republican colleagues will bring to the floor.

They had an opportunity to bring the bipartisan Senate bill to the floor, but chose not to do so. That's a shame, because the Violence Against Women Act has been a bipartisan and noncontroversial effort for almost 20 years now. The update passed the Senate on a bipartisan basis just last month.

Why does everything have to be a partisan fight here on the floor of the House? Over the past year, my Republican colleagues here in the House have blocked an important jobs package; they have stalled the adoption of the national transportation and infrastructure bill; they've dragged their feet on help for students and the impending increase to the student loan rate; and now they have turned what has been a bipartisan effort to protect the victims of domestic violence into a senseless political fight. Republicans would not even allow debate on amendments so that we could improve their flawed bill. And this is serious, because in my home State of Florida, there were over 113,000 crimes of domestic violence reported in 2010. If the Republican bill were to pass, more domestic violence crimes would go unreported, more abusers would be free, and more victims would be harmed.

This bill works in opposition to the very purpose of the legislation to protect all victims of domestic violence. Not just some victims, but all victims. Advocates across the country who are on the front lines in aiding women and victims every day have announced their opposition.

Please defeat this rule so we can call up the bipartisan and improved version from the Senate.


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