Amazingly, Washington lawmakers have actually come together as the Republican-controlled House of Representative agreed to renew the Violence Against Women Act, which now includes expanded protections for same-sex couples.
The measure, already approved by the Senate, passed the House in a bipartisan vote of 286-138. The measure was opposed by Conservatives for a number of reasons, primarily because of its inclusion of gays and lesbians.
This was the third time since December that Speaker Boehner (R-OH) permitted legislation that did not have the support of the majority of his divided members to move off the floor, after members of the GOP acknowledged that it was damaging to the party’s image to continue opposing a bill that had passed the Senate with broad bipartisan support and has a strong appeal among women.
President Obama has said he will sign the bill as soon as it is placed on his desk.
“Renewing this bill (originally passed in 1994) is an important step toward making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear,” he stated.
The Violence Against Women Act authorizes funds for programs nationwide that assist in prosecuting sexual assault and domestic abuse, as well as helping crime victims. Despite the sequester, the renewal will authorize up to $660 million to be spent annually for the next five years for such programs.
Those facing any sort of domestic abuse here in Connecticut can call The Network Against Domestic Abuse’s confidential hotline at 860 763-4542 for help. Readers are also invited to attend the Spring Reception to benefit the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Abuse on March 27th, at the home of CT Attorney General George Jepsen and Diane Jepsen, 995 Prospect Ave., Hartfird, CT 06105. The event will be held from 5:30-7:30 pm. Fees at $50 donation; $100 Supporter; and $250 for Patron. To learn more call 888 774-2900.