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After the last Congress allowed the Violence Against Women Act to expire because Republicans believe only straight, white women deserve protection from rape and abuse, the House is finally doing the right thing by voting on the Senate's version of the act. Of course Republicans will first play some kabuki theater by voting on the straight-white-women only amendment, but once that goes down in defeat, Republicans are expected to oh-so-graciously hold a vote on the actual, all-inclusive bill.

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?

8:04 AM PT: You can watch the livestream of the debate before the vote here.

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.

10:50 AM PT: The roll call for the Republicans' pathetic amendment is here. The roll call for final passage of the real bill is here.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:56 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Sexism and Patriarchy.

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