An amendment to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) proposed by Senator Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) has failed yesterday on a 65 to 34 Senate vote. The proposed amendment would have removed protections for LGBT victims of domestic violence, allow for new restrictions on U visas given to immigrant victims of domestic violence, prevented tribal courts from prosecuting non-Native defendants who are accused of assaulting Native women on tribal lands, and would even eliminate the language “woman” from the largest grant program within VAWA.
“The proposed substitute bill would remove fundamental points of fairness that are at the core of this legislation. We need to cover everyone who experiences domestic and sexual violence in this country,” Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), sponsor of VAWA, said.
In late January, Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) reintroduced a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The bipartisan-supported Senate VAWA includes expanded protections for Native American women, LGBTQ individuals, students, and immigrant women.