Among its first order of business, the newly sworn in 113th Congress is trying yet again to expand protections for women across the country. Who knew it would prove so difficult?
On Tuesday, Sen. Mike Crapo, R—Idaho, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D—Vermont, reintroduced the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
VAWA, which aims to protect victims of rape and domestic abuse, was allowed to expire late last year by the 112th Congress after the Senate reauthorized the measure with bipartisan support, but the GOP-led House refused to sign off on it.
Instead, House Republicans unsuccessfully tried to push their own watered-down version of the bill which controversially excluded three key groups that are especially vulnerable to sexual and domestic violence—Native American women, immigrant women, and members of the LGBT community.
For many House Republicans, the most contentious portion of the bill dealt with the increased number of visas for undocumented victims of domestic violence.
The Senate-passed version of VAWA would have worked toward encouraging victims to report their attackers by granting them temporary legal status in…