GOP Balks at Renewing Violence Against Women Act

Because Democrats added provisions about immigrants, same-sex couples
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2012 10:04 AM CDT
GOP Balks at Renewing Violence Against Women Act
"You think they might have put things in there we couldn't support that maybe then they could accuse you of not being supportive of fighting violence against women?" Jeff Sessions asked.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Conservative senators are coming out against renewing the Violence Against Women Act, which provides federal funding for domestic violence programs and passed with broad bipartisan support in 1994. Democratic women plan to march to the Senate floor today and demand a quick vote to extend the bill, the New York Times reports, with Maria Cantwell among those saying she's "furious. We’re mad, and we’re tired of it.” But Republicans say they have problems with additions to the bill, which, according to Jeff Sessions, "almost seem to invite opposition." Those include provisions that grant temporary visas to battered illegal immigrants and open domestic violence programs to same-sex couples.

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Even in its current incarnation the bill has five Republican co-sponsors, but it didn't draw one Republican vote in the Judiciary Committee. "Obviously you want to be for the title," says Roy Blunt. "If Republicans can't be for it, we need a very convincing alternative." (Read more Violence Against Women Act stories.)

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