The Democrats carry the day despite the Conservative Caucus in the House in a move that is becoming more routine….
The House voted on Thursday to pass the Senate’s bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, in a big victory for President Obama and Democrats in Congress.
The legislation passed on a vote of 286 to 138, with 199 Democrats joining 87 Republicans to push the reauthorization of the landmark 1994 law, which assists victims of domestic and sexual violence, across the finish line.
Though the reauthorization passed the Senate earlier this month with 78 votes — including those of every woman, all Democrats and just over half of Republicans — a version unveiled by the House last Friday immediately came under sharp criticism from Democrats and women’s and human rights groups for failing to include certain provisions offered in the Senate bill.
The House bill excluded specific protections for gay, bisexual or transgender victims of domestic abuse — eliminating “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” from a list of “underserved populations” that face barriers to receiving victim services — and stripped certain provisions regarding Native American women on reservations.
Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the majority leader, had committed to passing the legislation in the House only with bipartisan support. On Tuesday night, with House Democrats firmly united against the Republican version, the House Rules Committee approved a bifurcated process to consider the Senate legislation; on Thursday, the House first voted on its substitute amendment and then, when that version failed to pass, it took up and passed the Senate version.
On Thursday, Democrat after Democrat stood on the House floor, urging their colleagues to reject what they said was the weaker House version and to vote for the underlying Senate-passed bill.Share on Facebook