BREAKING: Senate Passes Violence Against Women Act, With No Help From 22 Republican Male Senators
The Violence Against Women Act reauthorization passed through the Senate on Tuesday afternoon, by a vote of 78 to 22. Of those opposing the legislation, all 22 were Republican men. Every female Senator supported the bill.
Among the most notable votes against the bill were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). Here’s a look at all 22 opponents of VAWA:
VAWA expired during the previous Congress, and because of Republican opposition to provisions for Native American, undocumented, and LGBT victims of domestic violence, the different versions approved by the House and by the Senate were never reconciled, and the bill died without final passage at the end of 2012.
Since its inception in 1994, VAWA has established a system for helping women in danger. The law created the National Domestic Violence Hotline, made stalking illegal, and helped drive down the number of partner homicides.
Two Senators — Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) — also offered significant amendments to the VAWA bill. Grassley’s amendment stripped all Native American, LGBT, and undocumented victim protections. It was voted down on Thursday of last week. Cornyn’s, aimed exclusively on the bill’s language relating to tribal lands, failed on Monday.
WASHINGTON — The Senate easily passed its Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill on Tuesday, officially punting the issue to the House, where Republican leaders still haven’t signaled how they plan to proceed.
The bill passed 78 to 22. It already had 62 cosponsors, which ensured its passage, but it picked up additional support from a handful of Republicans who weren’t already sponsoring it.
Senators who voted against the bill included Republicans John Barrasso (Wyo.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), John Boozman (Ark.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Cornyn (Texas), Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Orrin Hatch (Utah), James Inhofe (Okla.), Mike Johanns (Neb.), Ron Johnson (Wisc.), Mike Lee (Utah), Mitch McConnell (Ky.), Rand Paul (Ky.), Jim Risch (Idaho), Pat Roberts (Kansas), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Jeff Thune (N.D.) and Tim Scott (S.C.).
Rubio, who put out a statement on his VAWA stance Tuesday, will give the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address later Tuesday evening.
The bill authorizes $659 million over five years for VAWA programs. It also expands VAWA to include new protections for LGBT and Native American victims of domestic violence, to give more attention to sexual assault prevention and to help reduce a backlog in processing rape kits. Created in 1994, VAWA has helped to strengthen programs and services for victims of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
Ahead of the vote, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the bill’s sponsor, questioned why anybody would vote against his legislation since it just expands protections to vulnerable groups.