Earlier today, after lengthy debate, the U.S. Houes of Representatives passed the Senate-passed version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
After the Republican version of the bill failed 166-257, the Senate-approved version passed 286-138. Eighty-seven Republicans joined all 199 Democrats in passing the bill.
District 1 Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., made a strong final push, calling on her House colleagues to pass the proposed legislation. Kirkpatrick, who was born and raised on the White Mountain Apache Nation, cited the tribal communities in her district and the high rate of domestic violence suffered by Native American women.
“I’ve seen firsthand the troubles and hardships that our tribes experienced … Native American women are two and a half times more likely to be assaulted in their lifetimes than other women,” Kirkpatrick said in the one-minute speech. “Now I represent twelve Native American tribes, and I am here standing on the floor of Congress to give them a voice.”
After the legislation was passed, President Barack Obama said he looks forward to signing the bill into law, while Vice President Joe Biden said he was happy to see Congress set politics aside to pass important legislation.
“Eighteen years ago, I envisioned a world where women could live free from violence and abuse,” Biden said. “Since VAWA first passed in 1994, we have seen a 64 percent reduction in domestic violence. I am pleased that this progress will continue, with now tools for cops and prosecutors to hold abusers and rapists accountable, and more support for all victims of these crimes.”
See details on the bill that was passed at http://1.usa.gov/HPGwSY