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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor speaks at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, Illinois, October 28, 2011. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
The saga of trying to get the Violence Against Women Act reauthorized has been going on for months now, and the Huffington Post is reporting that, in negotiations between Vice President Joe Biden and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, it's come down to one sticking point: Cantor doesn't want to strengthen protections for Native American women.

To recap, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that strengthened protections for several groups. Rather than taking up that bipartisan bill, House Republicans passed their own version of the bill, excluding or weakening protections for LGBT people, immigrants, and Native Americans. After an election that left Republicans pondering how they could pretend to be more inclusive, there was some hope that they'd see passing a popular bill that many Senate Republicans already voted for as a way to lessen their war-on-women notoriety. The fact that Cantor and Biden are now working together on the bill suggests that Republicans are finally getting serious.

But two sources familiar with negotiations on VAWA, both of whom requested anonymity given the sensitive nature of talks, have told HuffPost that Cantor is refusing to accept any added protections for Native American women that would give expanded jurisdiction to tribes, and is pressuring Democrats to concede on that front. There does seem to be room to negotiate with Cantor on the other two provisions relating to LGBT and undocumented immigrant protections, the sources say.

Asked to confirm if this is the current state of play in VAWA talks, a Cantor spokesman said only, "Your source is mistaken."

It's not clear whether, in this context, "your source is mistaken" means "Eric Cantor would never give up on excluding immigrants and LGBT people" or "negotiations aren't to the point where there's one single sticking point." Either way, it comes down to this. Everyone—LGBT, immigrant, Native American—deserves protection from domestic violence. The Senate bill passed by a 68 to 31 margin, practically unheard of in the Senate in this age of Republican obstruction. It's time for House Republicans to quit their own obstruction on this and allow the House to vote to protect women from violence.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 10:35 AM PST.

Also republished by Sexism and Patriarchy, Barriers and Bridges, RaceGender DiscrimiNATION, and Daily Kos.

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