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House Republicans have blocked the Violence Against Women Act

Posted by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 4:45 PM
  • 23 Replies

 House Republicans have blocked the Violence Against Women Act, which has been since 1994.

Senator Patty Murray: "The House Republican leadership's failure to take up and pass the Senate's bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable. This is a bill that passed with 68 votes in the Senate and that extends the bill's protections to 30 million more women. But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates. No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first."

by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 4:45 PM
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Replies (1-10):
angelenia
by Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 4:47 PM
what is their excuse for not passing it? sadly, i am not surprised:(
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
sweet-a-kins
by Ruby Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 4:49 PM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting angelenia:

what is their excuse for not passing it? sadly, i am not surprised:(

 

Republicans Are Blocking the Violence Against Women Act

Here's why.

-By

| Tue Mar. 20, 2012 2:00 AM PDT
    violence against women Kayla Bailey/Flickr

    There are three reasons some Republicans are trying to block the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act: Gays, immigrants, and Native Americans.

    The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which first passed in 1994 and has been reauthorized twice since then, increased federal penalties for domestic violence and provided funding for groups and services that aid victims of domestic abuse. The bill hit the bipartisan sweet spot of being both tough on crime and oriented toward women's rights. Usually it's reauthorized without much fanfare. This time around, however, several Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), are putting up a fight. Despite the fact that the bill has several Republican sponsors, all eight GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee voted against the bill when the committee considered it last month.

    "While this is a bipartisan effort in this Congress, it's certainly a tougher slog than most of us expected," says Lisalyn Jacobs, vice president for government relations at the women's rights advocacy group Legal Momentum.

    In a speech before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February, Grassley laid out his objections to the bill. Republicans' biggest qualms are about provisions that make federal grants to domestic violence organizations contingent on nondiscrimination against gay, lesbian, and transgender victims; rules extending the authority of tribal courts over domestic violence matters; and a section that would provide more visas for abused undocumented women who agree to cooperate with law enforcement.

    "I wish we could proceed in a consensus fashion again," Grassley said. "But there are provisions in the bill before us that have never been part of VAWA before. They're not consensus items." Grassley says he wants the reauthorization to pass-just without the parts he considers extraneous. Here's a quick breakdown of what has the GOP riled up.

    Tribal law: There is an epidemic of domestic violence on Native American reservations. According to the National Congress of American Indians, a Native American rights advocacy group, about 40 percent of Native American women will face domestic violence. But more than half of Native American women are married to non-Native American men, which means that when cases of abuse arise, the local tribal authorities can do very little because they don't have jurisdiction over non-tribe members.

    State and federal prosecutors have the authority to prosecute domestic violence on reservations, but for geographic and logistical reasons, it often goes unaddressed. "A federal prosecutor is not going to be able to expend the kind of energy on misdemeanors that local police officers would spend energy on," says Paulette Moore, vice president for public policy at the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

    As Mother Jones reported last year, local authorities' inability or unwillingness to deal with domestic violence cases in Native American communities has contributed to an underground industry of vigilantes for hire who take matters into their own hands. The current version of the Violence Against Women Act would allow tribal authorities to prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence cases on Indian reservations, but Republicans are opposing it because they don't like the idea of Native American law applying to non-tribe members.

    "For the first time, the Committee would extend tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians," Grassley said in his floor speech. "I do not believe the Committee has a good understanding of what the consequences would be of doing so." The bill contains language that affirms non-tribe members prosecuted receive the same due process protections they would be entitled to under the US Constitution.

    The bill's supporters expressed confusion at Grassley's logic. "Suppose your sister was with you in Washington, DC, and her husband beat her up," Moore says, "but because he was from Virginia, Washington couldn't do anything about it."

    Immigration: The original Violence Against Women Act contained provisions that allow undocumented victims of domestic violence to apply for legal status, called a U visa, if they agree to cooperate with law enforcement. But because it took a few years for the federal government to set up the program, there's a backlog of thousands of U visas that were never used. The U visas are crucial for domestic violence victims because they give them work authorization along with legal status, which means they aren't reliant on their abuser for income.

    There's a cap on the number of U visas that can be offered each year-just 10,000. Supporters of the current reauthorization bill want to take those old U visas and offer them to people who apply in the future, which would mean a limited increase in the number of U visas given out every year for a few years.

    "We have caps for a reason. The US can't take everybody who comes to our shores, as much as many would like to," Grassley said. "Caps are a way to control the flow of people. They are a stop-gap measure against fraud." Grassley also wants more restrictions on U visas, which would, among other requirements, force victims to obtain doctor's notes documenting their abuse and mandate that the abuse be reported to law enforcement within two months of its taking place. US Citizenship and Immigration Services already has an anti-fraud unit, however, and law enforcement officials themselves sign off on U visas. 

    The Obama administration has met the 10,000 cap twice in the past two years. Undocumented immigrants who look like good candidates for U visas are often given deferred action, which means they're not deported. But women who are waiting for U visas don't get work authorization during the delay, so many find it difficult to support themselves.

    Supporters of the bill say that rather than fraud, reaching the U visa limit shows how effective they are in fighting crime. "This is not just a tool for the victims; they're a tool for law enforcement," says Gail Pendleton, codirector of Asista, which offers legal services to immigrant victims of domestic violence and is funded in part through VAWA grants. "There are law enforcement [officials] out there who could use more U visas." 

    LGBT rights: Republicans agree that organizations receiving federal grants shouldn't discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation. They just don't understand why Democrats want to make it the law.

    "I agree that shelters and other grant recipients should provide services equally to everyone," said Grassley. "But advocates of this provision haven't produced data that shelters have refused to provide services for these reasons." He added that the nondiscrimination provisions were "a political statement that shouldn't be made on a bill that is designed to address actual needs of victims."

    Supporters of the bill disagree, pointing to surveys of domestic violence service workers who say they've seen victims turned away on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. But Grassley didn't simply try to amend the bill to take out the LGBT-non discrimination provisions-his substitute bill lacks language that would have compelled public colleges to collect data on hate crimes based on gender identity. 

    "The Hate Crimes Statistics Act already compels the FBI to collect statistics based on a range of [factors], including gender identity" says Ian Thompson of the ACLU. "If it's okay to make the FBI collect these statistics, it should certainly be okay to make colleges do it." 

    The Violence Against Women Act reauthorization still retains a bipartisan pedigree. Six Republican senators-Mike Crapo (Idaho), Mark Kirk (Illinois), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine), and Scott Brown (Massachusetts) have all signed on as cosponsors. Even Grassley, armed with all his amendments, insisted in his floor speech that he wants the bill to pass. 

    Still, standing in the way of the Violence Against Women Act is a strange decision for a party that's spent the last few weeks playing defense on women's rights issues. The bill is expected to come to the Senate floor sometime this week. 

    "It's unclear how it's going to play out," a Senate Democratic aide told Mother Jones. "In the past we've never had to have a big debate about this."

    TCgirlatheart
    by TC on Jan. 2, 2013 at 5:11 PM
    So petty, in the grand scheme of things. IMO

    Quoting sweet-a-kins:

     

    Quoting angelenia:

    what is their excuse for not passing it? sadly, i am not surprised:(

     



    Republicans Are Blocking the Violence Against Women Act








    Here's why.


    -By


    | Tue Mar. 20, 2012 2:00 AM PDT





      violence against women Kayla Bailey/Flickr

      There are three reasons some Republicans are trying to block the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act: Gays, immigrants, and Native Americans.


      The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which first passed in 1994 and has been reauthorized twice since then, increased federal penalties for domestic violence and provided funding for groups and services that aid victims of domestic abuse. The bill hit the bipartisan sweet spot of being both tough on crime and oriented toward women's rights. Usually it's reauthorized without much fanfare. This time around, however, several Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), are putting up a fight. Despite the fact that the bill has several Republican sponsors, all eight GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee voted against the bill when the committee considered it last month.


      "While this is a bipartisan effort in this Congress, it's certainly a tougher slog than most of us expected," says Lisalyn Jacobs, vice president for government relations at the women's rights advocacy group Legal Momentum.


      In a speech before the Senate Judiciary Committee in February, Grassley laid out his objections to the bill. Republicans' biggest qualms are about provisions that make federal grants to domestic violence organizations contingent on nondiscrimination against gay, lesbian, and transgender victims; rules extending the authority of tribal courts over domestic violence matters; and a section that would provide more visas for abused undocumented women who agree to cooperate with law enforcement.


      "I wish we could proceed in a consensus fashion again," Grassley said. "But there are provisions in the bill before us that have never been part of VAWA before. They're not consensus items." Grassley says he wants the reauthorization to pass-just without the parts he considers extraneous. Here's a quick breakdown of what has the GOP riled up.




      Tribal law: There is an epidemic of domestic violence on Native American reservations. According to the National Congress of American Indians, a Native American rights advocacy group, about 40 percent of Native American women will face domestic violence. But more than half of Native American women are married to non-Native American men, which means that when cases of abuse arise, the local tribal authorities can do very little because they don't have jurisdiction over non-tribe members.


      State and federal prosecutors have the authority to prosecute domestic violence on reservations, but for geographic and logistical reasons, it often goes unaddressed. "A federal prosecutor is not going to be able to expend the kind of energy on misdemeanors that local police officers would spend energy on," says Paulette Moore, vice president for public policy at the National Network to End Domestic Violence.


      As Mother Jones reported last year, local authorities' inability or unwillingness to deal with domestic violence cases in Native American communities has contributed to an underground industry of vigilantes for hire who take matters into their own hands. The current version of the Violence Against Women Act would allow tribal authorities to prosecute non-Indians for domestic violence cases on Indian reservations, but Republicans are opposing it because they don't like the idea of Native American law applying to non-tribe members.


      "For the first time, the Committee would extend tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians," Grassley said in his floor speech. "I do not believe the Committee has a good understanding of what the consequences would be of doing so." The bill contains language that affirms non-tribe members prosecuted receive the same due process protections they would be entitled to under the US Constitution.


      The bill's supporters expressed confusion at Grassley's logic. "Suppose your sister was with you in Washington, DC, and her husband beat her up," Moore says, "but because he was from Virginia, Washington couldn't do anything about it."


      Immigration: The original Violence Against Women Act contained provisions that allow undocumented victims of domestic violence to apply for legal status, called a U visa, if they agree to cooperate with law enforcement. But because it took a few years for the federal government to set up the program, there's a backlog of thousands of U visas that were never used. The U visas are crucial for domestic violence victims because they give them work authorization along with legal status, which means they aren't reliant on their abuser for income.


      There's a cap on the number of U visas that can be offered each year-just 10,000. Supporters of the current reauthorization bill want to take those old U visas and offer them to people who apply in the future, which would mean a limited increase in the number of U visas given out every year for a few years.


      "We have caps for a reason. The US can't take everybody who comes to our shores, as much as many would like to," Grassley said. "Caps are a way to control the flow of people. They are a stop-gap measure against fraud." Grassley also wants more restrictions on U visas, which would, among other requirements, force victims to obtain doctor's notes documenting their abuse and mandate that the abuse be reported to law enforcement within two months of its taking place. US Citizenship and Immigration Services already has an anti-fraud unit, however, and law enforcement officials themselves sign off on U visas. 


      The Obama administration has met the 10,000 cap twice in the past two years. Undocumented immigrants who look like good candidates for U visas are often given deferred action, which means they're not deported. But women who are waiting for U visas don't get work authorization during the delay, so many find it difficult to support themselves.


      Supporters of the bill say that rather than fraud, reaching the U visa limit shows how effective they are in fighting crime. "This is not just a tool for the victims; they're a tool for law enforcement," says Gail Pendleton, codirector of Asista, which offers legal services to immigrant victims of domestic violence and is funded in part through VAWA grants. "There are law enforcement [officials] out there who could use more U visas." 


      LGBT rights: Republicans agree that organizations receiving federal grants shouldn't discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation. They just don't understand why Democrats want to make it the law.


      "I agree that shelters and other grant recipients should provide services equally to everyone," said Grassley. "But advocates of this provision haven't produced data that shelters have refused to provide services for these reasons." He added that the nondiscrimination provisions were "a political statement that shouldn't be made on a bill that is designed to address actual needs of victims."


      Supporters of the bill disagree, pointing to surveys of domestic violence service workers who say they've seen victims turned away on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation. But Grassley didn't simply try to amend the bill to take out the LGBT-non discrimination provisions-his substitute bill lacks language that would have compelled public colleges to collect data on hate crimes based on gender identity. 


      "The Hate Crimes Statistics Act already compels the FBI to collect statistics based on a range of [factors], including gender identity" says Ian Thompson of the ACLU. "If it's okay to make the FBI collect these statistics, it should certainly be okay to make colleges do it." 


      The Violence Against Women Act reauthorization still retains a bipartisan pedigree. Six Republican senators-Mike Crapo (Idaho), Mark Kirk (Illinois), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Susan Collins (Maine), and Scott Brown (Massachusetts) have all signed on as cosponsors. Even Grassley, armed with all his amendments, insisted in his floor speech that he wants the bill to pass. 


      Still, standing in the way of the Violence Against Women Act is a strange decision for a party that's spent the last few weeks playing defense on women's rights issues. The bill is expected to come to the Senate floor sometime this week. 


      "It's unclear how it's going to play out," a Senate Democratic aide told Mother Jones. "In the past we've never had to have a big debate about this."

      Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
      nanaofsix531
      by Platinum Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 7:40 PM
      1 mom liked this

      I wonder how many do violence against women and don't want to get into trouble?Maybe that is the reason they would not pass it.Just a thought.

      Really they just hate women and now we know for sure.

      sweet-a-kins
      by Ruby Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 7:47 PM
      1 mom liked this
      They hate gays and don't want to protect gays

      Quoting nanaofsix531:

      I wonder how many do violence against women and don't want to get into trouble?Maybe that is the reason they would not pass it.Just a thought.

      Really they just hate women and now we know for sure.

      Posted on CafeMom Mobile
      blues_pagan
      by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 7:50 PM

      They didn't pass it because they see women as less than human and undeserving of protection...especially immigrant women who only come here to have "anchor babies" and those hell bound gays.

      Sick SOB's for the most part.  At least they have some good ones in the Senate.

      nanaofsix531
      by Platinum Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      What a shame that they would rather see violence against gays then protect them right here in America.Sick,sick,sick.

      Quoting sweet-a-kins:

      They hate gays and don't want to protect gays

      Quoting nanaofsix531:

      I wonder how many do violence against women and don't want to get into trouble?Maybe that is the reason they would not pass it.Just a thought.

      Really they just hate women and now we know for sure.


      mikiemom
      by Silver Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 7:54 PM

      Their attitude towards women is appalling, of course there are women in this group who agree with their belief that women get what they deserve. To them women are less than, they are property of men and that's should be enough for us. I mean it is evidence in the Rape comments.

      Quoting nanaofsix531:

      I wonder how many do violence against women and don't want to get into trouble?Maybe that is the reason they would not pass it.Just a thought.

      Really they just hate women and now we know for sure.


      nanaofsix531
      by Platinum Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:11 PM

      It makes you think they bitch slap women just for something to do on a quiet slow day and enjoy every second of it.

      Quoting mikiemom:

      Their attitude towards women is appalling, of course there are women in this group who agree with their belief that women get what they deserve. To them women are less than, they are property of men and that's should be enough for us. I mean it is evidence in the Rape comments.

      Quoting nanaofsix531:

      I wonder how many do violence against women and don't want to get into trouble?Maybe that is the reason they would not pass it.Just a thought.

      Really they just hate women and now we know for sure.



      parentalrights1
      by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:20 PM
      1 mom liked this
      Quoting blues_pagan:

      They didn't pass it because they see women as less than human and undeserving of protection...especially immigrant women who only come here to have "anchor babies" and those hell bound gays.

      Sick SOB's for the most part.  At least they have some good ones in the Senate.


      and the fact that men are pissed off that women even come close to the same playing field and think that women have it better than them now. Which is bullshit
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