The Expanded Violence Against Women Act Has Been Passed
There were so many people and organizations who worked tirelessly to get VAWA passed, and it's finally been done. The new version includes measures for protection to minorities and members of LBGT communities. It also focuses on Indian reservations and it allows undocumented immigrant survivors of domestic violence to seek legal status. These provisions were not in the VAWA that originally passed in 1994.
The measure now goes to President Barack Obama, who said in a statement that it was "an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear." According to CNN;
Thursday's votes reflected an emerging political reality in the GOP-led House, with a minority of Republicans joining Democrats to pass legislation supported by the public, including increasingly influential demographics such as Hispanic Americans.
Obama: Good job, Joe
By a vote of 166-257, the GOP version of the Violence Against Women Act failed to win a majority after almost 90 minutes of debate. The House then voted 286-138 to pass the Senate version, with 87 Republicans joining all 199 Democrats to provide majority support.
According to those who worked tirelessly on the VAWA, the new Senate version strengthens protections for particular groups of women who are at an increased risk of becoming victims of domestic violence.