. . . ‘Only way to reauthorize VAWA’ is for House to take up Senate bill
WASHINGTON (Thursday, December 20, 2012) – U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), lead author of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, called on Thursday for House Republicans to do the right thing in the final days of the 112th Congress and pass the Senate-passed measure that protects all victims against domestic and sexual violence.
In a statement, Leahy noted that he has sought a bipartisan compromise with House Republicans on the key tribal provision in the Senate bill, which was coauthored by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and passed the Senate with 68 votes in April. Leahy has repeatedly stated over the last few weeks that legislation authored by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) could provide a reasonable, middle ground on tribal jurisdiction and ultimately a groundbreaking deal on VAWA between the two chambers. While no such compromise has materialized, Leahy said there is still time for the House to act.
“I appreciate that there have at last been some renewed discussions about this bill in the House of Representatives but that is not enough,” Leahy said. “The only way to reauthorize VAWA this year is for the House to take up and pass the Senate-passed bill. If the House Republican leadership refuses to do that in the final days of this Congress, it is a shame.”
He noted the tragic events like this week’s shooting in Colorado, in which a man just released from jail on domestic violence charges killed his ex-girlfriend, her sister, her sister’s husband and eventually himself, only underscore the need for Congress to focus on passing VAWA. If the House fails to act, Leahy vowed to continue to champion inclusive legislation that protects all victims next year and push Congress to act.
“We have seen enough violence,” Leahy said. “If we cannot get the Leahy-Crapo bill over the finish line this year, we will come back next year, and we will get it done. I look forward to other Senators joining us as we continue this vital effort.”
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