Politics Magazine

VAWA Passes As House GOP Caves

Posted on the 01 March 2013 by Jobsanger
VAWA Passes As House GOP Caves In the last election, the Republican Party did not do well with women voters, losing that demographic by a significant margin. And one of the reasons for that (among others) was their blocking approval of the Violence Against Women Act in the 112th Congress. And for a while, it looked like they were going to repeat that mistake in the 113th Congress.
The Senate easily passed a version of VAWA identical to the one that had been blocked by the Republicans last year. That left the fate of the bill up to the Republican-controlled House, and they immediately brought up the old arguments -- that some people did not deserve protection against domestic violence (specifically immigrants, members of the LGBT community, and Native Americans). But even some Republicans in the House knew that was a ludicrous argument, and did not want to be viewed again as anti-woman for opposing VAWA.
This posed a dilemma for the House GOP leadership. They were facing a split in their own party, and a lot of bad publicity if they didn't at least look like they were doing something about domestic violence. They first tried to avoid the issue by voting on a watered-down version of the bill that had been rushed through committee by some right-wingers. That did work though, as the watered-down version of VAWA failed on a 166 to 257 vote (with all Democrats and slightly more than 50 Republicans voting against it).
That left the House GOP leadership between a rock and a hard place. They could please the teabagger element and once again block the Senate version of VAWA, or they could bring the bill up for a vote and please women and moderates in their own party. They caved. And when voted on, VAWA easily passed on a 286 to 138 vote. Those voting to approve VAWA were 199 Democrats and 87 Republicans. All of the 138 votes against VAWA came from Republicans. Eight representatives did not vote -- 1 Democrat and 7 Republicans.
I'm embarrassed to say that my own representative, William Thornberry, voted against VAWA. For the women in Texas (and the men who care about them), here are the Texas representatives who voted against stopping domestic abuse:
Tx District #1 -- Louis Gohmert (R)
Tx District #4 -- Ralph Hall (R)
Tx District #5 -- Jeb Hensarling (R)
Tx District #6 -- Joe Barton (R)
Tx District #7 -- John Culberson (R)
Tx District #8 -- Kevin Brady (R)
Tx District #10 -- Michael McCaul (R)
Tx District #11 -- K. Michael Conaway (R)
Tx District #13 -- William Thornberry (R)
Tx District #14 -- Randy Weber (R)
Tx District #17 -- William Flores (R)
Tx District #19 -- Randy Neugebauer (R)
Tx District #21 -- Lamar Smith (R)
Tx District #22 -- Pete Olson (R)
Tx District #24 -- Kenny Marchant (R)
Tx District #25 -- Roger Williams (R)
Tx District #26 -- Michael Burgess (R)
Tx District #31 -- John Carter (R)
Tx District #32 -- Pete Sessions (R)
Tx District #36 -- Steve Stockman (R)
Regardless of which state you live in, if you would like to know how your own representative (or any representative) voted you can go to this C-SPAN page.
I want to thank the 87 Republicans who voted for VAWA, but I doubt they did much to help the image of their party since they were outvoted by 138 of their fellow Republicans. They did however help the victims of domestic abuse by joining Democrats to re-authorize VAWA through the year 2018 -- and that's a very good thing.

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