(CNSNews.com) – The House Republican version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is “just another assault in what has sadly and surely become known as the Republican war against women,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday.
“I would say the indifference in this bill towards some – just some – is as chilling and callous as anything I have seen come before this Congress in modern times,” she said.
Maloney was speaking during a Democratic press conference, called to urge the passage of the Senate version of the VAWA. Hours later, the House passed its bill to renew the VAWA for five years, by a 222-205 vote.
The White House has threatened to veto the legislation.
“To actually exclude coverage for LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people], for Native Americans – do they not bleed and bruise and are injured just as much as anyone else?” Maloney stated. “And is it not the responsibility of our government – a prime responsibility – to protect our citizens?”
“The Republican bill actually rolls back those protections, excludes those protections,” she continued. “It’s just another assault in what has sadly and surely become known as the Republican war against women.”
A Senate bill renewing the VAWA passed last month by a vote of 68-31, with 15 Republicans signing on. Unlike the Senate version, the House bill does not include language explicitly prohibiting discrimination against LGBT people or relating to specific protections for Native American women.
But Rep. Sandy Adams (R-Fla.), the lead sponsor of the House version and a victim of sexual abuse herself, said the bill was “victim-centered.”
“As we look to reauthorize VAWA we want to make sure that we’re not politicizing this issue but just reauthorizing it,” she said during an earlier Republican press conference.
Also taking part in the Democratic event was Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.), who said that she too has been a victim of sexual abuse.
“As a woman of color I am particularly aggrieved that this bill ignores the special circumstances of women who are minorities, women who are in the shadows,” said Moore, who said she was raped and nearly choked to death.
She urged House members to take up the Senate version of the bill, “and stop playing games with the lives of women.”
“This is yet another – they don’t want to hear us talk about it being a war on women, but I mean this is a direct assault on women’s lives,” Moore said. “Three women a day die from victimization and I would implore my colleagues to stop playing games.”
Maloney thanked Moore “for speaking so beautifully and forcefully in support of this bill. I think her story tells how important this bill is.”