The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is set to expire now that the House of Representatives has failed to renew it before adjourning. And because they have failed to do so, the Senate will have to pass another version of the bill because bills passed during the previous session of congress do not carry over to the next session.
The Senate renewed the Violence Against Women Act some time ago, as Steve Benen reminds us.
Back in April, the Senate approved VAWA reauthorization fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. The bill was co-written by a liberal Democrat (Vermont’s Pat Leahy) and a conservative Republican (Idaho’s Mike Crapo), and seemed on track to be reauthorized easily, just as it was in 2000 and 2005.
House opposition to renewing the bill has centered around granting existing rights to immigrants, Native Americans, and members of LGBT community, but for much of the past few weeks the biggest stumbling block has been opposition to granting additional rights to Native American tribes. Opposition spearheaded by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Native American women suffer disproportionately from sexual assault and domestic violence because Native American tribes do not have the authority to prosecute perpetrators from beyond their borders. But according to Eric Cantor, women who are members of native tribes do not need additional protection.
Because of this stubborn refusal to grant the same protection afforded to most women to groups of women who are at greater risk of abuse because of their unique status, the bill will expire for all women.
It’s Republican outreach.