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House to vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act

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A representative of the bipartisan bill to reauthorize VAWA, as is well known, was introduced in the House earlier this month by Democratic Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas and House Judiciary President Jerry Nadler of New York and Republican Rep. Brain Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.

“Domestic violence has increased in this nation. And now we have a moment in history,” Jackson Lee told CNN Wednesday before the vote.

“This is a robust bill,” the congresswoman said. “We make sure there is a federal government armor around these families so they can survive. We can’t let them down. I think the time is here. I think the passion is here.”

The new bill builds on previous versions of VAWA authorizing funding for grants and other forms of support in an effort to prevent and combat sexual assault, domestic violence, dating and persecution and provide assistance to victims.

According to an information sheet from the Judicial Committee of the House, the bill would improve and expand aid and services for victims and survivors. Extensive legislation includes provisions to make secure housing more accessible and strengthen economic security, as it guarantees that state unemployment benefits cannot be denied to people who leave work due to harassment or aggression. sexual, domestic or partner violence or assault.

Biden applauded the effort to reauthorize VAWA, stating in a statement on the recent introduction of the bill that Congress should “meet bipartisanly to ensure the rapid passage of VAWA legislation in both the House and the House.” Senate “.

Biden went on to say, “Domestic violence is being called a pandemic within the Covid-19 pandemic, with growing evidence showing that pandemic conditions have led to increased rates of intimate partner violence and, in some cases, of more serious injuries “.

The Democratic-controlled House voted in 2019 to re-authorize the legislation after it expired, but the reauthorization did not go through the Republican-controlled Senate.

Now the Democratic majority in the House is ready to re-approve a reauthorization. This time Democrats control the Senate, but the effort will still face an uncertain future in the House. With a party split of 50 to 50, it’s unclear if there would be enough Republican support to overcome a filibuster.

Jackson Lee said of his approach to pushing through the legislation: “I’m going to do it relentlessly. I’m going to charge. I want to have a smile on my face, but I’ll never stop, I’ll never stop … We won’t fail in the women. I will be relentless and I will never give up. “

When asked if he would support the reauthorization bill, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa “has been our leader in this theme “.

Later, Ernst told reporters, “We’re going to work on a bill again, taking what we worked on in the last Congress and we’re probably going to reintroduce it,” adding that “it will be different from the House bill.”

The Iowa Republican said she hopes it will be possible to “resolve these differences in the two bills, find areas of agreement and move forward with a modernized bill.”

“We are willing to work with the Democrats on it and hope that by combining forces we can reach the 60 votes needed,” Ernst said.

Asked about the Republican Party’s effort, Jackson Lee said, “We are willing to review your bill. It is a vigorous bill. We will keep as much of our bill as possible for it to pass.”

This story has been updated with additional news Wednesday.

CNN’s Chandelis Duster and Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

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