February 5, 2013 — The Senate on Monday voted 85-8 on a motion to proceed a bill (S 47) that would reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, the Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" reports. The bill could pass through the Senate as early as this week (Ackerman, "Washington Wire," Wall Street Journal, 2/4).
Last year the legislation "foundered ... on Republican concern over obscure issues like the bill's inclusion of additional visas for abused illegal immigrants, its treatment of same-sex couples and its strengthening of American Indian courts," the New York Times reports.
The bill advanced by the Senate Monday does not include the provision on visas for immigrants. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who sponsored the bill, said he instead will include such a measure as part of a comprehensive immigration bill.
According to the Times, the "biggest sticking point" in the reauthorization is a provision that would allow tribal courts to prosecute U.S. citizens charged with assault of Native American women on reservations. Some Republicans view the provision as an unconstitutional expansion of tribal courts' jurisdiction. However, advocates say that women living on reservations have almost no legal recourse if they are raped by those who are not also Native American. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Tuesday will meet with Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) to discuss a compromise.
Aides to House Republican leaders said they were meeting with Senate Democrats, Obama administration officials and tribal leaders to discuss the measure, adding that the lawmakers will not move forward until a compromise is reached (Weisman, New York Times, 2/4).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership