Saturday, March 02, 2013


While Congress slipped out of town Thursday without addressing the sequester issue, they did manage to pass one piece of legislation that has been hanging around since the last Congress:  the Violence Against Women Act.  House Republicans in the 112th Congress didn't quite get the message of November's election back then.  Apparently enough of them have since then.

The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times took note of the bill's passage in what for members of that "center-left" group was pretty strong language.

After more than a year of bitter partisan fighting, Congress on Thursday finally reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act, including new provisions that will extend the law's protections for gay, lesbian, transgender and Native American victims of domestic violence. It's about time.

There is no rational explanation for why lawmakers took so long to reauthorize this legislation, which was first enacted in 1994 and had been renewed twice with broad bipartisan support. Admittedly, the revised law covers a broader group of victims. That was apparently too much for some Republicans in the House, who sought to substitute a weaker bill for the one passed by the Senate, arguing that the new protections either went too far or were prone to fraud.

What the newly reauthorized legislation will actually do is provide help to all victims of domestic violence, regardless of their sexual orientation, immigration status or where the assault took place. ...  [Emphasis added]

What the editorial doesn't mention is that 138 Republicans in the House still voted against the bill.  If you go here, you can check to see just who was still digging in their heels.  There aren't too many surprises.  Among those voting against the bill are Tea Party champions Eric Cantor and Michele Bachmann.  House Speaker Boehner is discovering that herding cats, is even more difficult when at least some of them have painted a target on his back.

Well, at least the 113th Congress got something done.

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