Thursday, December 27, 2012
No Excuses Left For Not Passing VAWA
This is not really even anything new. It is a bill that has had bipartisan support in the past, and simply needs to be renewed. But this time the GOP has decided to try and make some political hay out of it instead of acting to protect the women in America from abuse (and sometimes even death). There were three new provisions added to the re-authorization of VAWA this time -- making sure the bill also covered immigrant women, same-sex partners, and giving tribal courts jurisdiction over abuse of Native American women abused by non-Native American partners.
Personally, I thought these additions were a good thing. After all, why shouldn't ALL women be protected from domestic abuse? But the Republicans didn't see it that way. They decided that some classes should be protected and others shouldn't, so they used that as an excuse to oppose the bill. It's stupid and mean-spirited, but it does go along with the Republican idea that some people should have more rights than other people (in spite of the constitutional guarantee of equal rights).
Well, the Democrats caved a bit, and removed the protections for immigrant women and same-sex partners. They shouldn't have, but they did it so they could finally get the bill passed and get at least some women protected. That still wasn't good enough for the Republicans. They still whined that non-Native American abusers of Native American women might not get fair treatment in Native American courts. So an amendment was added that would give defendants the option of having the case moved to a federal court.
But the Republicans continue to block VAWA, in spite of the fact that all of their concerns have been addressed. The bill is now extremely similar to the VAWA bills of the past that were easily passed with bipartisan support, and yet the GOP continues to refuse to even allow it to come up for a vote. That means there can only be one reason for blocking the bill -- because Democrats (including the president) support the bill. They are willing to allow the women of America to be abused (and possibly killed) just so they can continue there obstruction of EVERYTHING the president tries to get done.
There is no moral or political justification for the continued blocking of VAWA. And there are no excuses left. It is time for Congress to finally vote on approving VAWA.