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U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (L-R) leads fellow Republicans, including Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), onstage for a news conference about their proposed deficit-cutting plan, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, (cropped for height)
The Senate is moving quickly to vote—again—to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Sen Mike Crapo (R-ID) have reintroduced the bill, which could come to a vote next week; since it passed by a large bipartisan margin last year in a less Democratic Senate, it's virtually assured of doing so again. Which brings us to the House, where Republican leadership refused to take up the bipartisan Senate bill last year and then insisted that the weaker House bill excluding or weakening protections for several groups had to take precedence for procedural reasons.

The provision of last year's Senate bill that increased the number of visas for immigrant victims of domestic violence, raising revenue and thereby giving House Speaker John Boehner the excuse to claim the Senate had to work with the House bill, has been taken out, with plans to include it in immigration reform legislation. So the Senate can move forward. But it can't pass a law on its own, and House Republican leadership doesn't exactly look eager to embrace a bipartisan bill:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) have remained mum on how they plan to proceed. Spokespeople for both of their offices did not respond to a request for comment. But there have been rumblings that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), who chairs the House Republican Conference, may take the lead on the issue. Tribal groups met privately with McMorris Rodgers last week and had nothing but praise for the congresswoman's openness to moving a broad bill.
We'll see. Because while it's good to hear that Native American groups like what they're hearing from McMorris Rodgers, after expanded protections for Native American women proved a key sticking point, the signals are pretty damn mixed if the men in charge aren't sullying themselves by publicly commenting on lady issues. And it's not like we've never seen the Republican Party trot out its few female tokens to try to sell the war on women as essentially feminist.

The Violence Against Women Act needs to be reauthorized, though. And once the Senate votes to do that, the pressure will all be on House Republicans to pass a bipartisan bill rather than once again going for a bill only a far-right Republican could love.

Tell Congress to reauthorize the expanded, bipartisan version of the Violence Against Women Act.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:27 AM PST.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism, South Dakota Kos, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  From an American Indian viewpoint (11+ / 0-)

    Republican actions---or rather, inactions--are seen as more evidence of their anti-Indian racism which stems in part from their ignorance of history.

    Some see this as more evidence that American Indian Genocide still continues.

  •  I can't believe GOP would allow politics (8+ / 0-)

    to get in the way of something as inarguable as protecting abuse and violence victims.

    Oh wait. Yes, yes I can believe that.

  •  Need to keep this in the spotlight (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hopi13, gfre, slothlax, foucaultspendulum

    it's astonishing to me that this Act was not reauthorized.  It's shameful.  Hopefully we don't just move on to the next story and let the Republicans get away with this.  

  •  "House Republicans don't want to talk about it"... (4+ / 0-)

    because they can't wait to get home to beat their spouses. ;)

    Seriously.  Nearly 40 years ago, when my wife was organzing a chapter of N.O.W. I was a co-founder as she wanted my voice, my input, the male perspective.  

    I continue to champion the quest for gender equality, but sometimes tangential extremes arise.

    The Violence Against Women Act is one instance that must be called out.

    It is sexist legislation . . . it should be gender neutral:

    Violence Against Spouses Act . . .


    Simply, . . .

    Domestic Violence Act.

    So, rewrite the act to be gender neutral and its chances for passing will greatly increase.

    Consider the following:

    Men: The Overlooked Victims of Domestic Violence

    May 16, 2012 By Ruth S.

    Domestic violence is considered one of the most pressing issues in American society. Everyone quotes the statistics given by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence: 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives, 1.3 million women are assaulted by their partner every year, 85% of domestic violence reported is against women. However, in a conflicting survey taken by the CDC in 2010, it was found that 40% of the victims of severe, physical domestic violence are men.

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 12:25:29 PM PST

    •  Actually this is not just about domestic (0+ / 0-)

      Violence. It's about all violence against women, regardless of the relationship, or not, between the abuser and victim.

      In the studies you talk about where men are victims, how many are hospitalized or killed by women? How many are raped, and how many get pregnant then have to deal with the rapist wanting visitation if they bear the offspring?

      I don't disbelieve that men are abused - I have seen it - but it seems that in the stats I have seen they are not as often injured enough to be hospitalized, or killed like women are. The rates are higher than many know, but the seriousness of the injuries are not usually as bad, if only because women are usually smaller and weaker than men physically, along with being less likely to be able to leave because of financial reasons.

      Doesn't mean men don't deserve equal protection if needed. No one should live in fear of others.

      Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

      by splashy on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 01:49:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This issue alone could flip the House to the Dems (0+ / 0-)

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:31:06 PM PST

  •  I'll bet that there is at least 1 GOP House (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, slothlax

    member that thinks the bill is meant to codify Violence Against Women.

    There is no hell on earth appropriate enough for those who would promote the killing of another person, in the name of a god.

    by HarryParatestis on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:37:28 PM PST

  •  Tipped & rec'ed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  State of the Union is in two weeks... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    begone, slothlax, bythesea, akze29

    Does Boehner really want to be in camera shot when Pres Obama calls out House Republicans for blocking VAWA?  Especially when the man to Boehner right will be one of the original authors of the bill?

    "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self awareness" -Annie Savoy (Bull Durham)

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:40:37 PM PST

  •  Jesus, what's this country coming to if you can't (0+ / 0-)

    beat the wife? I hope the GOP stands strong for this principle.

  •  What an absurd excuse anyway (0+ / 0-)

    Immigration policy is not tax policy, and even the giant orange boner knows that.  At least some members of his caucus were honest enough to admit that they hated the bill because they hate native Americans, gays, and immigrants.

    "And the President of the United States - would be seated right here. I would be here. And he would be here. I would turn - and there he’d be. I could pet ‘im." - Lewis Black

    by libdevil on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:46:27 PM PST

  •  It's time we take the teabaggers (0+ / 0-)

    and dump them in Boston harbor.  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:47:42 PM PST

    •  that won't solve the problem... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hopi13, akze29, splashy

      Republicans were against women LOOOOOONNNNNGGGG before the Tea Party was ginned up.

      Ronald Reagan made me a feminist when I realized there was no place for me in the Republican party (had grown up in a R family back when R meant Ike, John Lindsay, etc. In my Western Pa steel city, if you were Protestant, you were Republican -- Catholic=Democrat.

      Ronald Reagan made me sick then, and still does.

      "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

      by gfre on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:56:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What are the specific objections? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hopi13, akze29

    It just covers a couple categories of women that aren't covered yet, right?  Is that really enough of a reason to hold up the whole bill?  I mean, I know the deal with the House GOP, but come on.

    There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

    by slothlax on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 05:52:10 PM PST

    •  It would give Indian Tribes more ability prosecute (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax, akze29

      non-Indians for crimes committed on the reservations.  The GOP arguement is that non-Indians have no representation in tribal law-making so shouldn't be held under tribal laws for crimes committed on the reservation.  Some abusers of Indian women are non-Indians.

      By that logic if you commit a crime in Canada you should not be prosecuted because you aren't Canadian.

      •  Yeah, that's what it sounds like (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Or extend it further, local ordinances only apply to people from those jurisdictions or state laws to state residents.  So when I go hunting in Pennsylvania without a license, I'm gonna tell the ranger that their law doesn't apply to me because I'm from New York.

        GOP: Defenders of rapists, wife beaters, and mass murders across America.

        There is truth on all sides. The question is how much.

        by slothlax on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:54:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not so much that the law doesn't apply, it's (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that there's usually no one who's both willing and able to prosecute.  Major crimes like rape are supposed to be handled by the feds in such instances, but in practice it doesn't happen, and the local authorities who would be willing to do so are legally barred from hearing the case.

          It practice, of course, it amounts to the same thing -- no law.

  •  get a bill to conference (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Rather than trying to force a good VAWA down House Republicans' throats, let them pass a crummy version of the bill and go to conference. There, Senators insist on their version.

    Boehner tells his caucus he'll break the Hastert rule for the conference report if need be. But most House Republicans would love to be for and against this bill so they can claim to "care about women" but also claim to stand against the provisions their base opposes.

    Final bill passes both Houses by a 2:1 margin.

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