Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:01 PM
redqueen (109,227 posts)
Please contact your Senators about VAWA
STALLED VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT COULD BE NEGOTIATED DURING LAME-DUCK
Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office is reportedly in talks with Vice President Joe Biden about reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act during the lame-duck session of Congress, according to a tweet from NBC’s Luke Russert on Wednesday.
The traditionally bipartisan bill–set to expire by the end of the month–was originally drafted by then-Sen. Joe Biden and passed into law in 1994. VAWA allocated taxpayer money to programs and services that helped those suffering from abuse, including community violence prevention programs, funding for rape crisis centers and hotlines, and legal aid for survivors of violence. Funds were also used to help investigate and prosecute violent crimes against women.
Congress voted to reauthorize VAWA in 2000 and again in 2005, but the House stalled the act this spring when Republicans took issue with the Senate’s new expansions. The revised version extended provisions to LGBT individuals, immigrants, and Native Americans to receive protection. The House however rejected the Senate’s version and countered with its own act that excluded those groups.
The Republican bill is not just a smaller step forward than the Senate bill. It is a giant step backward—for the law, for victims of domestic violence, and for our society. The House bill does not just happen to meet each of the qualifications laid out by Professor Spade, it is the reason he is concerned.
This bill is part of a divide and conquer strategy. Rather than protect all victims of domestic violence, it separates victims into two groups: those who are worthy of protection and those who are not. And those who are not are the most vulnerable. It aims to separate those who are used to being separate—historically marginalized groups such as LGBTQ, immigrants, and Native Americans.
Victims of domestic violence will have their strongest voice together. Those who seek to divide them want to weaken their voice and thereby make them easier to ignore. Being ignored is not good for victims. The House bill is not good for victims.
Please stand up for those most in need of help.
8 replies, 2280 views
Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Please contact your Senators about VAWA (Original post)
Response to redqueen (Original post)
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:25 PM
redqueen (109,227 posts)
5. Note, existing language re: the jurisdictional provision has the support of the Justice Department.
Some House Republicans do support giving tribes that limited jurisdictional authority and have put forward a solution of their own. Earlier this week, Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.) introduced a bill that has the same jurisdictional language for tribes as the Senate bill, but would also allow the defendant to move his case to a federal court if he feels his rights were violated in a tribal court. As a standalone bill that wades into complex jurisdictional laws, though, even Issa told HuffPost last week that the bill has little chance of passing in the lame duck.
Cantor's insistence on keeping the tribal jurisdictional provision out of VAWA has infuriated some backers of the Senate bill and elicited vows to prevent any VAWA bill from advancing that doesn't protect all victims of abuse. Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women and someone who regularly talks to people directly involved in VAWA negotiations, called Cantor's stance "completely outrageous."
"Who is Eric Cantor to say that it's okay for some women to get beaten and raped?" O'Neill said. "If they happen to be Native women who are attacked by a non-Native man, as far as Eric Cantor is concerned, those women are tossed."
The NOW president said she didn't know why the GOP leader was so opposed to keeping the provision, since it has the backing of the Justice Department. She said any concerns about constitutional laws being circumvented on tribal lands have already been vetted. Regardless, she said she doesn't expect the White House or Democratic lawmakers to cave on the provision.