Proving that anything on Capitol Hill can be a pressure point, the House failed to re-authorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 2012, allowing the 1994 law’s provisions to expire for the first time in its history.
While the Senate passed bipartisan legislation to reauthorize VAWA that would expand protections to to gay couples, give new rights to Native Americans on reservations, and undocumented people suffering domestic violence, the House GOP dug in for a fight.
The House initially rejected the expanded Senate version and pushed forward its own without the new protections, spawning a legislative back-and-forth that only ceased this year. When the House GOP version failed amid a party split, the House passed the bipartisan Senate version. President Obama signed the bill into law Thursday, surrounded by members of the many groups the expanded legislation seeks to protect.
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