The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) – which funds programs addressing domestic abuse – has long enjoyed bipartisan support. But this year, in its latest round of reauthorization, it has hit a snag. This is in part because Democrats have expanded coverage to include gays and lesbians, illegal immigrants, and native Americans.
Conservative Republicans object to the expanded version’s protections for same-sex couples and illegal immigrants, which, in the latter case, could provide access to temporary visas. Republicans say Democrats are using the bill to claim the GOP is waging a “war on women.”
The bill is now languishing in Congress.
Mitt Romney has said little about VAWA or domestic abuse in general. In April, the Romney campaign said the candidate supports reauthorization, but did not endorse the expanded Democratic version.
For a full list of stories about how Romney and Obama differ on the issues, click here.