Opinion: The Violence Against Women Act is on life support

"First, Congress could decide to stop funding VAWA’s programs any time after March 27, when the current Continuing Resolution expires, and the expiration of VAWA’s authorization could give fiscally conservative legislators a new rationale for making cuts. That’s fueled significant uncertainty for domestic violence shelters and other groups that receive money from programs authorized by the law. Second, if the law is never reauthorized, a future White House could reverse its legal protections.

There’s still strong bipartisan support for VAWA, but the reason that the law has languished is because Democrats want certain expanded protections for immigrant, LGBT, and Native American victims. The Senate successfully passed a bill with the new provisions in April, 68-31. House Republicans passed their own VAWA bill in May without the new provisions, which the White House then threatened to veto. And the two parties have been deadlocked since then, as neither side believes the other’s legislation is acceptable.

Republicans have raised particularly strong objections to a provision in the Senate Democratic bill that would allow Native American tribal courts to prosecute non-native perpetrators, which they believe is unconstitutional. (The GOP version would allow Native Americans to apply for a protection order in US District Courts, even if the abuse happens on Native American land.)"

Get the Story:
Suzy Khimm: The Violence Against Women Act is on life support (The Washington Post 1/25)

Also Today:
VAWA Reauthorization: Senators Introduce Bipartisan Bill That Corners House Republicans (The Huffington Post 1/23)

Related Stories:
Matt Remle: Violence against women, violence against earth (1/25)
Haley Elkins: Media goes silent on the failure to pass VAWA (1/24)
NCAI calls on Congress to pass Violence Against Women Act (01/24)

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