Feb 08 2013
WASHINGTON — Ahead of a vote on the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill, the Senate on Thursday rejected a Republican alternative that would have stripped out protections for LGBT victims of domestic violence, removed a key protection for Native American women and shifted the overall focus of VAWA away from women and more toward men.
The GOP proposal, put forward by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), failed by a vote of 34 to 65.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was among those voting for the proposal, as was Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), the only female senator out of 20 who isn’t cosponsoring the bipartisan VAWA bill.
The Senate is lining up a Monday vote for the bipartisan bill, authored by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho). It has 62 cosponsors, which essentially ensures its passage.
During remarks on the Senate floor earlier Thursday, Grassley said he planned to vote against the bipartisan VAWA bill over the provision giving tribal courts the ability to prosecute non-Native American men who abuse Native American women on tribal lands. House Republican opposition to that provision is a major reason why VAWA failed to be reauthorized in the last Congress.