Congress Passes Bill Renewing Anti-Violence Law - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Congress Passes Bill Renewing Anti-Violence Law

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The House has passed and sent to President Barack Obama a far-reaching extension of the Violence Against Women Act.

The vote comes after House Republican leaders, cognizant of the need to improve their faltering image among women voters, accepted a Senate bill passed two weeks ago on a strong bipartisan vote.

The House vote to reauthorize the 1994 law that has set the standard for anti-violence programs came after lawmakers rejected a more limited approach from Republicans.

The law lapsed in 2011 and has been caught up in the partisan battles that now divide Congress. Last year, the House refused to go along with a Senate-passed bill that would have made clear that lesbians, gays, immigrants and Native American women should have equal access to anti-violence programs. (AP)

Statement from the President on the House Passage of the Violence Against Women Act  

I was pleased to see the House of Representatives come together and vote to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act.  Over more than two decades, this law has saved countless lives and transformed the way we treat victims of abuse. Today's vote will go even further by continuing to reduce domestic violence, improving how we treat victims of rape, and extending protections to Native American women and members of the LGBT community.  The bill also reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, providing critical support for both international and domestic victims of trafficking and helping ensure traffickers are brought to justice.  I want to thank leaders from both parties – especially Leader Pelosi, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and Senator Leahy – for everything they've done to make this happen.  Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it hits my desk.

Statement by Vice President Biden on the House Passage of the Violence Against Women Act

Today Congress put politics aside and voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Eighteen years ago, I envisioned a world where women could live free from violence and abuse.  Since VAWA first passed in 1994, we have seen a 64% reduction in domestic violence.  I am pleased that this progress will continue, with new tools for cops and prosecutors to hold abusers and rapists accountable, and more support for all victims of these crimes. 

The urgent need for this bill cannot be more obvious.  Consider just one fact—that 40% of all mass shootings started with the murderer targeting their girlfriend, or their wife, or their ex-wife. Among many other important provisions, the new VAWA will increase the use of proven models of reducing domestic violence homicides. 

This morning I met with several parents whose beautiful young daughters were killed by abusive boyfriends. Nothing puts this legislation in to perspective more than their stories. This issue should be beyond politics—and I want to thank the leaders from both parties—Patrick Leahy, Mike Crapo, Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Gwen Moore—and the bipartisan majorities in both the House and the Senate who have made that clear once again.

Representative Steven Horsford (NV-4) voted today to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. Prior to the vote, Horsford made the following statement on the floor of the House of Representatives:

"No woman should have to live in fear of violence in this country. One of my first actions in Congress was to cosponsor the Violence Against Women Act, which was authored by my colleague, Gwen Moore. 

"Her bill took critical steps to strengthen the ability of our law enforcement and service providers to protect victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  Her bill went to great lengths to ensure that all women in our country would be protected under the bill.

"The Senate passed overwhelmingly on a bipartisan basis her bill. That is why I find the political game being played by some Republicans today to be so frustrating. My colleagues find it to be frustrating, and my constituents find it to be frustrating.

"I do not understand why, Madam Speaker, you would eliminate provisions to protect women from immigrant communities – many of which I represent in my district in Congressional District Four -- and women from Native American communities, or inappropriately discriminate against women based on their sexual orientation.

"I urge my colleagues to pass this bipartisan bill."

The Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence (NNADV) applauds the Members of Congress who led the fight and voted for VAWA's passage.

"Advocates and survivors have been working on this bill for years and are both elated and relieved to see it reauthorized, says Sue Meuschke, executive director, NNADV. "We thank the Nevada Congressional delegation for their unanimous support of this bill."

Snapshot of Nevada:

Earlier this month, both Nevada senators voted "Yea" on the VAWA Reauthorization:

  • Senator Harry Reid (D)
  • Senator Dean Heller (R)

Today, the following Nevada representatives voted "Yea" on the VAWA Reauthorization:

  • Congressman Mark Amodei (R)
  • Congressman Joseph Heck (R)
  • Congressman Steven Horsford (D)
  • Congresswomen Dina Titus (D)

The legislation that passed today is a strong reauthorization that includes landmark protections for women on Tribal lands, improves protections for immigrant victims, ensures services for LGBT survivors as well as people with disabilities and the elderly, and adds important housing protections for victims. The bill also preserves and maintains core funding for life-saving victim services.

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