Guam - Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo spoke on the floor of the House Wednesday against the republican backed bill that reauthorizes the "Violence Against Women" act [VAWA].
Bordallo argued that the GOP measure eliminates critical protections for immigrants, native tribes, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, protections which were all included a bipartisan Senate bill which passed last month.
A release quotes Bordallo as saying that the revised version passed by the republican controlled House "undermines the core principles of VAWA ... Rather than improving federal efforts to protect victims of domestic violence, the House bill makes it more difficult for women."
READ Congresswoman Bordallo's release in FULL below:
House Passes Republican Violence Against Women Reauthorization Bill; Bordallo Opposes the Bill in Favor of the Bipartisan Version Recently Passed in the Senate
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 16, 2012 – Washington, D.C. –
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo today issued the following statement on H.R. 4970, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012, which was introduced by Rep. Sandy Adams of Florida. The bill was passed by the House with a vote of 222 ayes to 205 noes.
The Congresswoman spoke on the House Floor this morning in opposition to the bill.
H.R. 4970 eliminates critical protections for immigrants, native tribes, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community that were included in the bipartisan Senate bill, S.1925, which passed on April 26, 2012. In particular, H.R. 4970 rolls back current protections for immigrant spouses under the VAWA self-petition program that may discourage victims of domestic violence from reporting a crime. H.R. 4970 also eliminates a key provision in the Senate bill that provides tribal governments with concurrent jurisdiction to prosecute non-tribe members who assault their Native American spouses or dating partners on tribal lands. Currently, many of these domestic violence crimes go unprosecuted because tribal courts do not have jurisdiction to prosecute non-tribal defendants. Further, the House bill fails to prohibit VAWA-funded programs from discriminating against victims based on their sexual orientation, as the Senate bill does.
More than 300 organizations have opposed aspects of this bill, including the Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Family Violence. President Obama also has promised to veto this bill.
“The Violence Against Women Act was a landmark piece of legislation that helped provide a safety net for victims of domestic and sexual abuse. H.R. 4970, however, undermines the core principles of VAWA and leaves out critical provisions to address the inadequacies of the original legislation,” said Congresswoman Bordallo. “Rather than improving federal efforts to protect victims of domestic violence, the House bill makes it more difficult for women to apply for programs that allow them to report or leave their abusive partners. Women should never have to feel trapped or helpless against abusers. I support the bipartisan, Senate-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and I hope that the House will do the right thing for all victims of domestic violence by adopting the Senate version.”
The Congresswoman is a co-sponsor of H.R. 4271, a bill introduced by Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin. This is the House companion bill to S.1925, which was supported by every Democrat and Republican woman the Senate.