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White House Official Suggests New Approach to Reviving Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization

White House Official Suggests New Approach to Reviving Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization

November 13, 2012 — A White House official last week urged supporters of the Violence Against Women Act to broaden their coalition of allies to increase pressure on House leaders to act on a reauthorization bill, CQ Today reports.

Lynn Rosenthal, the White House's adviser on violence against women, said backers of the Senate version (S 1925) of the reauthorization bill should reach out to law enforcement groups and faith-based leaders for support (Gramlich, CQ Today, 11/8).

The House and Senate have been at an impasse over reauthorizing the law since they each approved different versions earlier this year. One of the main issues is that House leaders say the Senate version violates the constitutional requirement that all revenue-raising bills originate in the House, given that it contains a $30 fee associated with temporary visas for undocumented immigrants who are victims of abuse (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/31).

Further, the House version (HR 4970) omits Senate provisions aimed at protecting Native American women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/29).

Rosenthal said that resolving the disputes between the chambers "is a high priority" and that "putting a human face on this violence" could help build pressure on House Republicans and advance final legislation to the president's desk.

According to an email from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to its members, advocates could face a tough battle next year because "nearly 30 of [the law's] key champions will not be returning to the 113th Congress due to retirement or [electoral] defeat." The list includes Illinois Reps. Judy Biggert (R) and Robert Dold (R) and Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Scott Brown (R-Mass.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) (CQ Today, 11/8).