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House Democrats Unveil VAWA Reauthorization That Mirrors Senate Version

House Democrats Unveil VAWA Reauthorization That Mirrors Senate Version

January 24, 2013 — House Democrats on Wednesday introduced their version of legislation (HR 11) to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, the Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" reports (Ackerman, "Washington Wire," Wall Street Journal, 1/23).

Last year, a standoff over the House and Senate versions of the VAWA reauthorization resulted in the legislation expiring for the first time. The Senate had passed a bill (S 1925) that included additional protections for Native American, immigrant, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. However, the House rejected the bill and passed its own version (HR 4970), which omitted the added protections (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/23).

The new House bill -- which is identical to a Senate version (S 47) introduced on Tuesday -- includes protections for Native American, immigrant and LGBT communities.

In addition, like the new Senate bill, the House version omits a provision from last year's Senate bill that would have increased visas available to immigrant women who experience abuse. House Republicans objected to the provision because it included a fee to pay for the visas and all revenue-producing legislation must originate in the House (Abrams, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 1/23).

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said he is confident the bill will pass, adding, "I can't believe that there is any House member who's going to get up and say there is somebody who lives in America who I do not believe ought to [be] protected from domestic violence."

The House bill has 158 Democratic co-sponsors, including every Democratic woman, but no Republican co-sponsors (Parker, "The Caucus," New York Times, 1/23).