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Thu Dec 13, 2012, 11:52 AM

McCaskill lashes out at House GOP leaders on Violence Against Women Act

WASHINGTON – House Republican leaders “should be ashamed of themselves” for blocking action on a Senate-passed expansion of the Violence Against Women Act, Sen. Claire McCaskill said Wednesday.

Noting that all 17 women senators voted for the bipartisan bill, McCaskill told a forum that GOP women in the House “should be the ones that are showing the country right now that they can force the leadership of their own party to do what’s right for women, who are really in jeopardy every single day if nothing is done.”

McCaskill’s comments on VAWA – a 1994 law aimed at ending violence against women that was reauthorized in 2000 and 2005 but expired last year – came during a discussion at the Center for American Progress about whether the importance of women voters in this year’s elections will translate into greater influence on the national policy agenda.

The Senate passed the act's reauthorization in April by a 68-31 vote, expanding the law to cover new protections for Native Americans, members of the lesbian and gay community and undocumented immigrants. In May, the House barely approved, 225-205, a watered-down reauthorization that the American Bar Association opposed as “a retreat in the battle against domestic and sexual violence.”


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