Urges House to Pass Bipartisan Senate Bill
Washington, DC – Congressman Jim Moran, Northern Virginia Democrat, released the following statement after his vote against H.R. 4970, urging Republican leadership to bring up the bipartisan Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA):
“Initially enacted in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act established federal programs and policies to combat the harmful and persistent impact that domestic violence, sexual assault, and dating violence has on our society. Nearly one in four women are the victims of rape or abuse by a partner during adulthood, with young women between the ages of 16 and 24 experiencing the highest rate of partner violence. One in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18, half of which are victims of incest.
“This bipartisan legislation works. Since 1994, reporting of domestic violence has increased by as much as 51 percent, while the number of individuals killed by an intimate partner has decreased 34 percent for women and 57 percent for men.
“Today, the House of Representatives betrayed this longstanding bipartisan effort. By forcing H.R. 4970 to the House floor under a closed rule, providing no opportunity for Democrats to offer constructive amendments, Republicans turned VAWA into yet another needless partisan battle. H.R. 4970 also lacks vital reforms included in a Senate-passed version of the bill to ensure LGBT, Native American, and immigrant women receive the protections they deserve. Reauthorization of VAWA is a matter of public safety – approximately three women are killed each day by a current or former intimate partner. Ultimately, I could not support a version of this bill that deliberately excluded protections for vulnerable, underserved populations.
“I am deeply troubled that my Republican colleagues failed to vote on the comprehensive Senate bill that passed by a overwhelming bipartisan vote of 68-31. We must pass a strong Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, but the House bill falls well short of that critical necessity.”