The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) is up for reauthorization, and unlike previous renewals, this time it’s political. The Democratic-controlled Senate has approved a new version of VAWA that expands coverage to include gays and lesbians, illegal immigrants, and native Americans. Obama is all for it, as is Vice President Joe Biden, the original author of VAWA during his Senate days.
Through a spokeswoman, Romney says he supports VAWA and “hopes it can be reauthorized without turning it into a political football," according to Politico. But spokeswoman Andrea Saul was not specific about his views on the proposed additions to the law. On April 26, 15 Republicans joined all the Senate Democrats in approving the expanded version, 68 to 31.
The Republican-controlled House is a different matter. GOP congresswomen have introduced a competing version that excludes the new protections.
Republicans accuse the Democrats of including the three groups – gays, illegal immigrants, and native Americans – in a bid to energize the Democratic base and back the Republicans into a corner. It looks as if Romney will not get his wish: VAWA is a political football.