He helped block its renewal last year while in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Tim Scott has tried it again yesterday from his new spot in the U.S. Senate.
As a result, not only is the Violence Against Women Act expired, but without funding options, too, and it could take even longer to be reinstated.
Although a bipartisan panel of 85 senators openly supported it, Scott and seven other Republican senators blocked the 2013 edition of the bill from coming to the floor for debate, Huffington Post reports.
VAWA’s provisions, which include legal aid for abused females and funding of rape crisis centers, are now halted.
In May 2012, the House approved a variation to VAWA that was to remove Native Americans, LGBT victims and immigrants from inclusion in the programs, and which had been included in the Senate version of the bill. Scott joined other Republicans in a tight 222-205 vote to impose such restrictions.
The Senate re-inserted the excluded groups to the bill, but the House refused to vote on the revised version. On Jan. 3, 2013, VAWA officially expired.
The limited version that Scott supported last May was so limiting that even the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women opposed it, declaring it to be “dangerous for victims(.)”
The National Task Force strongly supported the Senate version of VAWA, though.
Domestic violence is a prominent topic is Scott’s state of South Carolina, unfortunately. Over 36,000 women in the state are victims every year, according to the state Attorney General.
South Carolina ranks highest in homicide committed against women by men, and one of out every eight women in the state are victims of physical abuse at least once in their lifetimes.
The Republican senators who joined Scott in blocking VAWA from debate prior to vote were Rand Paul (Ky.), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Marco Rubio (Fla.), Mike Lee (Utah), James Risch (Idaho), Mike Johanns (Neb.) and Ted Cruz (Texas).
Last month, Scott resigned from the House to assume the Senate seat vacated by Jim DeMint.
Senators who do support VAWA state that they intend to continue its introduction this week with hopes of it getting re-enacted as quickly as possible.