This is a big week for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), legislation that has had a hard time in Congress recently. Originally passed in 1994, VAWA provides critical care, support and shelter for those suffering from domestic violence. Though technically still in place and funded, VAWA legislation has expired and is in need of congressional re-authorization. VAWA has already been expanded twice. It came up against conservative opposition last year in the 112th Congress and was debated until the session ended.
The current dispute is over new additions that include provisions to immigrants, Native Americans and the LGBT community. However, on Monday, a significant bi-partisan majority voted VAWA (with these add ons) through the Senate. Now the issue lies with the House of Representatives and in a quagmire of partisan politics.
Ultimately, Republican House leaders will determine if the re-authorization bill moves forward or ends up on the congressional back-burner yet again.