The House and the Senate have each already passed their own bills to reauthorize VAWA, but they differ in one major way: The bipartisan Senate bill includes new protections for members of the LGBT community, undocumented immigrants and Native Americans, and the House bill, which passed with only Republican votes, does not. So far, House Republican leaders have refused to accept the Senate additions, calling them politically driven. In the meantime, the issue has stalled and VAWA was left to expire, for the first time in its 18-year history, in September 2011.
The fact that some House Republicans are now publicly calling on their party leaders to get behind a more inclusive bill is notable, given their relative silence on the matter in the months since passing their pared-down bill. Meanwhile, some Senate Republicans who voted against the Senate bill have recently had a change of heart and now want the House to pass it. Read more...
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VAWA has historically been an uncontroversial bill, but Congress failed to pass an extension and let the last measure expire in September of 2011. At issue is the expansion of protections under the law to Native American women, illegal immigrants and LGBT individuals.
Besides the congressional budget, lawmakers are also at an impasse when it comes to the Violence Against Women Act. Host Michel Martin talks with the beauty shop ladies about whether the bill should expand protections for gay people, immigrants and Native Americans.