Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office is reportedly in talks with Vice President Joe Biden about reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act during the lame-duck session of Congress, according to a tweet from NBC’s Luke Russert on Wednesday.
The traditionally bipartisan bill–set to expire by the end of the month–was originally drafted by then-Sen. Joe Biden and passed into law in 1994. VAWA allocated taxpayer money to programs and services that helped those suffering from abuse, including community violence prevention programs, funding for rape crisis centers and hotlines, and legal aid for survivors of violence. Funds were also used to help investigate and prosecute violent crimes against women.
Congress voted to reauthorize VAWA in 2000 and again in 2005, but the House stalled the act this spring when Republicans took issue with the Senate’s new expansions. The revised version extended provisions to LGBT individuals, immigrants, and Native Americans to receive protection. The House however rejected the Senate’s version and countered with its own act that excluded those groups.
But not all Republicans were unanimous in support of the House version. Twenty-three Republicans broke ranks and voted against it in the House, prompting Speaker John Boehner to assign eight Republicans to a committee dedicated to negotiating with the Senate.
Full reauthorization has been stymied, and the fate of the act remains unknown. VAWA is set to expire at the end of December and if the House does not move to reauthorize the Senate’s version by the end of this year, legislative process on the act would start over at the start of next year.