US House Passes an Inclusive Violence Against Women Act

image by Shreyas Samudre

It took more than a year, and the House let last year’s bill expire, but Thursday a majority of US Representatives finally agreed to renew the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and to expand it to include protection of gays and lesbians, immigrant and tribal American women. They voted 286-138 in favor of passing the Senate version of the bill. VAWA now goes to President Obama for his signature.

A GOP-backed alternative bill was offered but rejected by the same block of 87 Republicans that ended up voting for the Senate version. It’s one of the only bill Speaker John Boehner has allowed to progress to a floor vote without a majority Republican vote assured.

138 House Republicans voted against women yesterday (find out who), as did 22 Republican Senators earlier this month, but 87 Republicans, enough to form a majority with House Democrats, decided that it wasn’t that great an idea to legislate against women, who are, after all, half their constituency. Smart move!

 



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