The New York Times: A New Push On Domestic Violence (Editorial)

In an editorial Tuesday, The New York Times calls on the Senate to quickly take up and pass the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, and for the House to quickly follow suit. U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Senator Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) reintroduced VAWA just last week.  Leahy is pushing for prompt Senate action on the Leahy-Crapo bill, and floor consideration is expected to begin next week.

Excerpts:

“The reintroduced Senate bill would provide services, like shelters and legal help, for victims of abuse regardless of their sexual orientation or immigration status. But it omits the original bill’s modest increase in the number of special visas, known as U-visas, available to undocumented immigrants who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assaults”

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“The new bill also incorporates steps to reduce the inexcusable national backlog of untested rape kits. These changes might make it easier to push this legislation through the House.”

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“…the Senate needs to take up the bill as soon as possible before its schedule and attention is fully focused on other big legislative priorities, like gun violence, immigration reform and debt reduction.”

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“There is no need for another set of hearings or another Judiciary Committee vote. The Senate’s majority leader, Harry Reid, should use the window before Congress breaks for its Presidents’ Day recess in February to secure Senate passage of the latest version of the Leahy-Crapo bill. That move would help put pressure on Speaker John Boehner and other Republican leaders in the House to stop playing ideological games and reach agreement with the Senate on extending this lifesaving law.”

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Read the full New York Times editorial online.

Senator Leahy's statement on the reintroduction of VAWA can be found here.