Violence Against Women Act

Senate talks on crafting bipartisan Violence Against Women Act break down
Iowa's Ernst to push her own bill, calls House version ‘nonstarter’

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said Thursday that talks with Democrats on a bipartisan update to the Violence Against Women Act have dissolved. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Bipartisan Senate talks over a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act fell apart this week, Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst said in a floor speech Thursday.

Ernst said she’ll introduce her own version of the bill that can pass the Republican-controlled Senate and gain the support of President Donald Trump. The House, controlled by Democrats, passed a version of the bill in April.

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.

House to vote on equal pay, VAWA, net neutrality bills, in next 3 weeks
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the upcoming votes in a “Dear Colleague” letter sent Monday

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced the major bills the House will consider over the next three-week work period in a dear colleague letter Monday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House will vote over the next three weeks on bills to help reduce the gender pay gap, reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act and codify the Obama-era net neutrality rule.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced the votes in a “Dear Colleague” letter Monday outlining plans for the three-week House work period beginning March 25.

House eyes Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and expansion
VAWA extension was not included in last month’s spending package

California Rep. Katie Porter spoke of her experiences with law enforcement as a survivor of domestic abuse during an event to mark the introduction of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Violence Against Women Act is back on the House agenda, with Democrats and at least one Republican leading a fresh effort to reauthorize and expand the domestic violence law.

A bill introduced Thursday would include updates to the landmark legislation, which was first enacted in 1994. The proposal is sponsored by California Democrat Karen Bass and Pennsylvania Republican Brian Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee to step down as chairwoman of Judiciary subcommittee and CBCF
She will temporarily step away from the subcommittee, and an aide said there's no timeline for her return

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is temporarily stepping down from her leadership of a House Judiciary subcommittee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee is temporarily stepping down from her leadership of a House Judiciary subcommittee, following a lawsuit claiming she fired a staffer who said she was raped by a superior at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.

Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat, was chairwoman of the Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations subcommittee, where she has focused on protecting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and gun violence prevention.

[Correction] Violence Against Women Act Extension Included in Latest Spending Proposal

A reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act will likely lapse at the end of the week. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Corrected 6:30 p.m. | Despite indications earlier Monday that the Violence Against Women Act would not be extended as part of the two-week continuing resolution, the stopgap funding measure would indeed extend VAWA until at least Dec. 21. 

This means the landmark domestic violence law will not lapse for the second time in 25 years.

Dianne Feinstein, Victims Groups Say Senate Judiciary Actions Violate Rape Shield Rules
Claims come after letter describing sexual preferences of accuser is released

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 26: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., arrives for a vote in the Capitol on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and groups focused on domestic violence and sexual assault on Wednesday said Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans could be in violation of the federal rape shield law portion of the Violence Against Women Act.

On Tuesday, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee released a letter from Dennis Ketterer, a former weatherman for WJLA Channel 7 in Washington and one-time Democratic candidate for Congress, regarding the recent allegations made by Julie Swetnick against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Pelosi: Short-Term VAWA Extension ‘Abdication of Our Responsibilities to Women’
Minority leader pens letter to speaker asking for long-term reauthorization

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wrote a letter to Speaker Paul D. Ryan urging him to schedule a vote on a long-term re authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 2:39 p.m. | House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi penned a letter to Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Monday criticizing House Republicans’ decision to only temporarily extend the soon-to-expire Violence Against Women Act. 

House Republicans plan to extend VAWA  through Dec. 7 as part of a fiscal 2019 government funding package that would provide yearlong funding for the departments of Defense; Labor, Health and Human Services; and Education and short-term funding for a handful of other agencies. The House is expected to vote on the package the week of Sept. 24. VAWA is set to expire Sept. 30.

Violence Against Women Act Extension Included in Stopgap Spending Deal
Programs authorized under law set to continue through Dec. 7

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., filed legislation earlier Thursday to extend the current Violence Against Women Act for six months. It is now being extended through Dec. 7 under a stopgap spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Violence Against Women Act, which was set to expire Sept. 30, will be extended through Dec. 7 under a stopgap spending bill released Thursday.

“Any program, authority or provision, including any pilot program, authorized under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 shall continue in effect through the date specified,” the bill text reads.

46 Republicans Call on Ryan, McCarthy to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act
Time is short on legislative calendar before Sept. 30 expiration

A group of House Republicans are calling for action on the Violence Against Women Act before it expires at the end of the month. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Nearly 50 House Republicans are calling on Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to bring a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to the floor before it expires Sept. 30.

“Since being signed into law in 1994, VAWA has helped to protect and support millions of Americans who have faced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking,” the group, led by New Yorkers John Katko and Elise Stefanik, wrote in a letter.