Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act “is not a partisan issue,” 46 House Republicans wrote to their leadership in a letter imploring House Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to bring the bill up for a vote “without delay” in the seven legislative days left before the current law expires.
Many of the Republicans signed on to the letter are facing tough races this November, while a few are retiring. But though there could be some votes in battleground districts on the line, expect to see more lip service than swift action from House Republican leadership. That’s because, while the Violence Against Women Act is typically bipartisan, Republicans drag their heels on any improvements Democrats try to make. Like these:
The current draft, which was introduced by House Democrats in July, includes expanded youth education and prevention programs, as well as policies to help victims have stable housing. It would also act on the known linkbetween domestic abuse and gun violence by expanding gun control laws to keep convicted domestic abusers and stalkers from possessing a firearm.
And you know that convicted abusers and stalkers are exactly the kind of people who are going to get all self-righteously outraged about gun-grabbing.
This is an important law that, as the Republican letter notes, “has helped to protect and support millions of Americans who have faced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking” over the past 24 years. The fact that its timely reauthorization is in doubt is yet another powerful reminder of where the Republican Party of 2018’s priorities lie.