Newest Wedge Issue: Violence Against Women
As the Senate debates the deceptively named Violence Against Women Act of 2011 (VAWA) (S.1925), one of the bill’s co-sponsors is speaking out. Yesterday, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) said her Democrat colleagues are using the legislation to “drive a wedge between Republican and women voters” and that she was “offended by the blatant politics being played.”
Welcome to Washington dysfunction!
Instead of using a program’s expiration as an opportunity to evaluate its effectiveness and whether the federal government is playing an appropriate role, lawmakers looking toward November would rather use it as a wedge issue.
Last month, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “At a moment of economic crisis, the number 3 Democrat in Senate, the Democrat in charge of strategy over there, is sitting up at night trying to figure out a way to create an issue where there isn’t one — not to help solve our nation’s problems, but to help Democrats get reelected.”
Here is what you need to know about VAWA:
Despite a lack of scientific evidence supporting the program’s effectiveness, the Senate’s reauthorization of VAWA would expand coverage to men and prisoners, and expand already duplicative grant programs. And for the first time in our nation’s history, the bill would permit American citizens who are accused of domestic violence on tribal territory to be tried by tribal courts. It is unprecedented, unnecessary and dangerous.
Instead of playing politics, lawmakers should be asking themselves why they want to expand an unproven program and surrender our rights.
Key Vote Alert: “NO” on the Violence Against Women Act
Violence Against Women Act: Reauthorization Fundamentally Flawed
On the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization
Take Action! Email Senators to Oppose the Violence Against Women Act