Voters in Montana need to know what's happening in Congress with the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), one of the most successful federal laws ever adopted. Since its original passage in 1994, VAWA has dramatically enhanced our nation's response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.
This vital legislation must be reauthorized, and the Senate has passed an inclusive bill that protects all victims. But in the House of Representatives, Republican leaders forced passage of a bill that weakens many provisions included in VAWA by both Republicans and Democrats over the past 18 years.
The House bill also turns its back on immigrant women, LGBT survivors, women living on tribal land and women on college campuses. While the Senate bill passed with bipartisan support (68-31, with 15 Republicans voting in favor), the House bill squeaked by on a party-line vote, 222-205, with 23 Republicans voting against it.
Shamefully, House Speaker John Boehner is now using a bogus procedural hurdle to block the inclusive, bipartisan Senate bill from the reconciliation process.
Voters need to know where their representatives stand on VAWA prior to casting their own ballots in November.
Montana National Organization of Women