It's a sign of just how extreme the Republican Party has become that it took two sessions of Congress to renew this previously uncontroversial bill. For nearly 20 years, VAWA has funded investigations and prosecutions of violent crimes, prevention and education programs, and shelters and other resources for victims. It's something that even Republicans used to recognize as important and valuable—until the party handed itself over to its wingnuttiest members, who were determined to, as Melissa McEwan brilliantly described it, "Protect the sanctity of traditional domestic violence!"
After receiving several sternly worded letters from their own party, House leaders finally caved and agreed that yes, maybe they ought to vote on the real bill that has the support of the Senate, the White House, and, oh yeah, America. Big of them, isn't it?
8:15 AM PT: And now they're finally voting on Cathy McMorris Rodgers's amendment to only protect straight white women.
8:40 AM PT: And the Republicans' version goes down in defeat, 166 to 257, as expected—and to the sound of enthusiastic cheers.
8:59 AM PT: And the bill—the right, all-inclusive bill—passes, 286 to 138. Now on to the president's desk for his signature.
9:03 AM PT: Eighty-seven Republicans voted for the bill, and despite those two weenie Democratic votes for the Republicans' amendment, no Democrats voted against the final bill.