A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

VAWA Should Be Passed This Time !

To their shame, the 112th Congress failed to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). This act, passed in 1994 and re-authorized in 2000 and 2006 by large bipartisan majorities, is to prevent domestic violence -- and it's hard to see why anyone would oppose preventing that. But last year, the bill passed by the Senate failed in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. It failed because the bill was extended to protect immigrants, Native American women, and those in the LGBT community.

Now this would seem to make sense to any reasonable person. After all, domestic abuse is an abomination regardless of who the victim is. But House Republicans had a different view. They seem to believe that only certain victims deserve to be helped, while others do not. And they used this misguided and hard-hearted view to kill the bill in the 112th Congress.

Now the 113th Congress is in session, and VAWA has again been introduced in the Senate (where it passed last year). But it looks like the teabagger Republicans haven't changed their opinion that some people don't deserve to be protected from domestic violence. The eight senators pictured above, all teabagger extremists, voted against even considering the re-authorization of VAWA. They are Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Tim Scott (R-South Carolina), Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), and James Risch (R-Idaho).

The bill will probably pass the Senate again, where even most Republicans support the re-authorization. But this vote by Senate teabaggers shows that the extreme right has not given up their opposition to the bill -- and the extremist teabaggers are much more numerous in the House (where they killed the bill last year). Will the House Republicans kill the bill again? It is certainly possible (since they oppose anything the president supports).

Domestic abuse is unacceptable, and it is inconceivable that it shouldn't have bipartisan support (as it always has had in the past). It is equally inconceivable that any politician would think domestic violence is OK in certain groups (groups they personally don't like). We must put pressure on the House Republicans, and let them know that their opposition to VAWA is unacceptable. All people deserve to be protected from domestic violence -- and anyone who believes otherwise is not fit to serve in Congress.

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