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Last Ditch Effort on VAWA Under Way

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Cantor is working with Biden on a possible deal to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

“They all have tribes within their states and are concerned about the violence our Senate bill is trying to combat,” Leahy said of the House bill, which would allow defendants to move a case to federal court if their rights are violated.

“Some in the House Republican leadership have expressed a ‘just say no’ approach to any grant of tribal jurisdiction but the House Republican leadership should give serious and thoughtful consideration to this Republican proposal so that we can move forward and protect thousands of victims,” Leahy continued.

Meanwhile, on the larger bill, Biden and Cantor’s commitment to finding a solution could prove helpful. The two have a good working relationship and have come together before on major issues, most notably in the summer of 2011 to try to make headway on a deal to avert government default and reduce the deficit.

“This week I’ve actually been encouraged to see that we could very well see agreement on VAWA, and I’m very hopeful that that comes about,” Cantor said on the floor this week. “I am encouraged about the discussions that my office is having with the vice president’s office right now, that bill being a high priority of Vice President Biden.”

If the bill is to pass before the end of this Congress, an agreement likely would have to be struck outside of the confines of a formal conference, something for which Boehner had previously called.

“Time is short in that we’re looking at two, at most three, weeks,” said the Democratic source tracking the bill. “We don’t want to get into specific deadlines because when there’s actually an agreement, things can go quickly around here.”

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