Today, Representatives Gwen Moore (D-WI), John Conyers (D-MI), and Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), introduced the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act as an amendment to fix the partisan and discriminatory proposal put forth this week by House Republicans. The Senate's version, which passed by a strong bipartisan vote of 78-22, extends the law's crucial protections to LGBT, Native American and immigrant victims, provides for more rape kits as well as a national registry of forensic evidence from sexual assault cases, strengthens criminal anti-trafficking statutes, provides for temporary housing for victims and addresses domestic violence on American college campuses. Moore, Conyers and Slaughter urged members to support the bipartisan, inclusive Senate version of VAWA, instead of the partisan Republican proposal, which was written behind closed doors and waters down crucial protections against domestic violence.
"These games must end," said Rep. Moore. "Republicans have introduced their version of VAWA, under the Senate bill number and the Senate title. I guess they thought no one would notice their bill fails to adequately protect LGBT, Native American, campus and sex trafficking victims and actually weakens current law. Their bill title may say VAWA, but it is far from the Senate bill that works to protect all victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking and passed with a strong bipartisan vote. Today I joined Representatives Conyers and Slaughter to introduce the real VAWA -- the Senate VAWA. We have the support; we are waiting on Republican leadership to bring our VAWA bill to the floor for a vote."
"The Senate has passed a strong bipartisan bill that contains critical protections for all victims of domestic violence," said Rep. Conyers, Ranking Member on the House Judiciary Committee. "The House, and victims of domestic violence deserve an up or down vote on this critical legislation. But instead the House Majority is playing politics and pushing through a partisan version of VAWA that they know is dead on arrival in the Senate. It's time for the House Republicans to join their colleagues in the Senate and stand up for all victims."
"We've heard no explanation for why the Republican Majority is opposed to protecting the lives and persons of anyone in the United States from domestic violence," said Rep. Slaughter, Ranking Member on the House Rules Committee. "As an original author of the Violence Against Women Act, it never crossed my mind that this law would ever be used as a vehicle for discrimination. The bipartisan Senate proposal deserves an up-or-down vote in the House, but unfortunately, we anticipate another closed rule on a discriminatory, partisan version of this landmark law, which has been responsible for reducing domestic violence incidents by over 60 percent since its passage."