Obama Administration Threatens to Veto House Version of VAWA

The Obama Administration released a Statement of Administration Policy (PDF) yesterday in which the administration threatened to veto the House version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), HR 4970, because it does not contain many of the protective provisions that are included in the Senate version. These provisions include protection for LGBT, immigrant, and Native American victims of domestic or sexual violence.

In the Statement of Administration Policy, the administration blasted HR 4970 for allowing abusers to be notified when domestic violence victims file a VAWA complaint. In the Statement, the administration wrote, “these proposals senselessly remove existing legal protections, undermine VAWA’s core purpose of protecting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, frustrate important law enforcement objectives, and jeopardize victims by placing them directly in harm’s way.” The Statement also says that “if the President is presented with HR 4970, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

The House Judiciary Committee passed the Cantor/Adams VAWA Reauthorization bill in a nearly straight party line vote on May 8th. Only one Republican, Ted Poe (TX-2), joined the Democrats in voting no. The Committee, in denying consideration of the substitute bill of Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), essentially rejected what Vice President Biden (the principal author of the original VAWA) called the “real McCoy” VAWA Reauthorization, which passed the Senate with a bipartisan 68-31 vote in late April.

ThinkProgress 5/16/12; Statement of Administration Policy 5/15/12; Reuters 5/15/12; Feminist Daily News Wire 5/9/12

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