The House Republican version of the Violence Against Women Act appears to be in trouble, forcing them to go to the unheard-of (for this crowd, anyway) lengths of talking to the National Organization for Women and the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence about what changes might win their support. Republican leadership isn't actually prepared to make the kind of changes that would accomplish that, but the fact that they even considered the possibility is in itself remarkable.
Republicans are planning to introduce amendments addressing some of the concerns about their initial bill's weakening of protections for immigrant and Native American women:
But the amendment package put forth by leadership is not likely to win [the women's groups'] nod of approval. The amendment, which POLITICO obtained Monday evening, does not appear to tighten language dealing with abuse in same-sex relationships, sources said.Without that, NOW will remain opposed.
Republicans don't just have problems with NOW and with confirming their war on women reputation. They have internal problems:
Before the amendment package was released, seven House Republicans penned a letter to Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) urging a bipartisan re-authorization. Rep. Judy Biggert (R-Ill.), who led the letter, has gone as far as to draft her own re-authorization of VAWA.But some in leadership are outraged with the mean, mean Senate Democrats for forcing their hand by voting on the bipartisan version of the Violence Against Women Act before House Republicans had their act together and had calibrated how bad a bill they could put forward without facing this kind of backlash. Poor babies.
There is some discord within GOP leadership ranks over how to proceed. Several aides say it would be easier to bring up the Senate’s bill, which passed with a strong bipartisan vote.