Paul Cook

Violence Against Women Act clears House
Measure includes firearms restrictions and expansion of transgender rights

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was the lone Republican co-sponsor of the Violence Against Women Act. He was one of 33 Republicans to support the measure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House voted Thursday to renew the lapsed Violence Against Women Act, but the proposal stoked contention over provisions restricting gun rights and expanding rights for transgender individuals.

Lawmakers voted 263-158 to pass the measure, which highlighted divisions within the Republican caucus. While the bill does have one Republican co-sponsor, Pennsylvania’s Brian Fitzpatrick, other House Republicans objected to new provisions included in the VAWA reauthorization measure. In all, 33 Republicans voted for the measure, and one, Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, voted present.

Congressmen Might Join Protesters Outside Turkish Embassy
And they might need some bail money

Reps. Ted Poe, R-Texas, left, and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., right, shown here talking to then-Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., proposed recessing from the House Foreign Affairs markup to protest at the Turkish Embassy.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressmen encouraged protesters who were attacked by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s security detail in Washington last week to keep on protesting, and said they might join them.

“Do it again, keep protesting and stay out there because no foreign tyrant has the right or the ability to drive them away,” Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, said at a House Foreign Affairs markup on Thursday. “You might find Mr. Meeks out there with them and myself as well.”

Word on the Hill: Week Wraps Up
Animals, actors, and singers

California Rep. Ed Royce shows off George the kangaroo at a World Wildlife Day event hosted by the Wildlife Conservation Society on Capitol Hill this week. (Chip Weiskotten/WCS)

Happy Friday of a very busy week in Washington! And, a belated Happy Women’s History Month!

Here are a few things that happened this week worth checking out.