The Department of Justice reauthorization bill (HR 3402), which includes the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), will be voted on by the House of Representatives today. An amendment that would weaken the bill’s emphasis on domestic violence funding for communities of color will also be voted on today. The Manager’s Amendment was submitted late last night by House Judiciary Committee Chair James Sensenbrenner (R-WI). The amendment strips language from the reauthorization of VAWA Act that provides for adequate services for racial and ethnic communities.
John Conyers (D-MI), the Ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, strongly opposes the amendment and has joined with Congresswoman Hilda Solis (D-CA) in sending a letter urging House Members to vote against the Manager’s amendment. Major domestic violence advocacy groups, including the National Network to End Domestic Violence, Family Violence Prevention Fund, Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault, Legal Momentum and the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence have also expressed their opposition, as has the Feminist Majority, the National Organization for Women, and the NAACP.