Over a Year Later, VAWA Has Been Renewed

After more than a year of contorting and finagling their way out of renewing the Violence Against Women Act, House leadership allowed a vote on the Senate’s all-inclusive version of the bill today and it passed 286 to 138.

WASHINGTON — The GOP-controlled House on Thursday passed a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act that expands federal protections to gays, lesbians and transgender people, Native Americans and immigrants.

The vote was 286-138, with 87 Republicans joining 199 Democrats to pass the bill. The measure now heads to President Obama, who has said he will sign the legislation.

The version of the bill House leadership allowed to come to a vote today is essentially the same version that was passed by the Senate during the Spring of 2012. It includes jurisdictional rights for Native American tribes and protections for immigrants and members of the LGBT community.

What this means is Republicans in the House wasted an entire year, and garnered the resulting brand press, for nothing. They could have done this prior to last summer when former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s poll numbers began to dip into landslide territory.

If John Boehner and Eric Cantor simply allow bills to be voted on, they will pass with Democratic support.

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  • Scopedog

    Yeah, but you know, both parties are the same, and the Democrats have barely moved things in the other direction, according to Digby:

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2013/02/why-change-when-youre-already-winning.html

    Is it that hard for some of us to actually, you know, fire on the _right_ target? The GOP has been acting like a bunch of out of control tossers since President Obama’s election (and they’ve gotten even worse after his re-election); we have more than enough examples to fill volumes of books–the VAWA being the latest one. By contrast, the list of bills passed by Dems to make life better for all Americans is long and ever-growing–all one has to do is look them up.

    Maybe I’m being too harsh on Digby, but still…..

    …but still, some insist on pulling out the “both parties are the same/Dems have barely done a thing” trope, a vile, putrescent piece of nonsense that should have died years ago.

    I need a drink.

    • JMAshby

      No, you’re not being too harsh. Digby has been a purveyor of the Both Sides Meme since 2009.

  • muselet

    First, it’s about damn’ time.

    Second, John Boehner really, really wants to follow the Hastert Rule (no legislation will be put to a vote without the support of the majority of the R majority). VAWA marks only the third time he’s violated that particular—and particularly stupid—rule. I’m not optimistic that Boehner could long survive as Speaker if he makes a habit of behaving as if he were a grown-up.

    And third, 87 Rs voted for VAWA and 138 voted against. Again I ask, why would any woman vote for any R?

    –alopecia

    • bphoon

      I say again: Anyone with ‘R’ after his or her name is not your friend. Full stop.

    • D_C_Wilson

      Remember, the first thing Boehner did as Speaker was to impose new rules that required any new spending be offset by cuts somewhere else and then immediately waived that rule in the very first bill they passed.

      They don’t really give a shit about anything except winning.

  • bphoon

    What this means is Republicans in the House wasted an entire year, and garnered the resulting brand press, for nothing.

    This is unique…how?

    /rhetorical snark/

  • D_C_Wilson

    If John Boehner and Eric Cantor simply allow bills to be voted on, they will pass with Democratic support.

    That’s what scares them.

    If they keep passing bills with bi-partisan support, soon the teabaggers will accuse them of being RINOs who are collaborating with the Kenyan Kommunist Usurper(tm). If that happens, we could be looking at Speaker Bachmann or Speaker Ghomert.

    • bphoon

      If that happens, we could be looking at Speaker Bachmann or Speaker Ghomert.

      I’m not sure that would be an entirely bad thing for our side in a purely political sense. Those two and those like them are so far out in space that making one of them Speaker would move the GOP in general even more toward irrelevancy.

      It would most assuredly, however, be a disaster for the country.

  • D_C_Wilson

    When the Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized in 2005, only 4 out
    of 435 members of the House voted against it. Today, a majority of
    republicans voted against it. Many of those who voted no secretly hoped
    it would pass anyway, but voted against it because they were afraid of
    facing a primary challenge from someone even more batshit crazy.

    But, both sides, right?