172 House Republicans voted against renewing the Violence Against Women Act Wednesday, just 24 hours after eight people – including seven women, six of Asian decent – were gunned down in a shooting spree at a series of Atlanta spas by a shooter who is now claiming he has a sex addiction.
The legislation passed 244-172, with a mere 29 Republicans joining Democrats to support the bill. No Democrat voted against it. The bill now heads to the Senate.
244-172: House votes to reauthorize and update the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which expired two years ago. 29 Republicans joined all Democrats in voting Yes. Bill now heads to the Senate. pic.twitter.com/bxW2Jlxgjl
— Craig Caplan (@CraigCaplan) March 17, 2021
The Violence Against Women Act is Clinton-era legislation that was sponsored in 1993 by then-Senator Joe Biden. Originally so uncontroversial it passed on a voice vote in the House and 95-4 in the Senate. It must be regularly renewed, and is currently expired because then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to allow it to be re-authorized in 2019.
#VAWA disarms abusers and strengthens legal and economic services for survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
This lifesaving legislation is critical to women, LGBTQ Americans, and all who suffer from domestic or gender-based violence. https://t.co/lg8kkdrQGR
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) March 17, 2021
Urging passage of the critical bill, President Biden in a statement last week said: “Delay is not an option, especially when the pandemic and economic crisis have only further increased the risks of abuse and the barriers to safety for women in the United States. Domestic violence is being called a pandemic within the COVID-19 pandemic, with growing evidence showing that the conditions of the pandemic have resulted in escalated rates of intimate partner violence, and in some cases more severe injuries.”
This article has been updated to correct the number of women who were killed.