The United States Senate passed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA) by a vote of 78-22 Tuesday.
President Barack Obama said, “Today the Senate passed a strong bipartisan bill to reauthorize and strengthen the Violence Against Women Act. This important step shows what we can do when we come together across party lines to take up a just cause.”
Noting the importance of the passage, the president continued: “The bill passed by the Senate will help reduce homicides that occur from domestic violence, improve the criminal justice response to rape and sexual assault, address the high rates of dating violence experienced by young women, and provide justice to the most vulnerable among us.”
Obama concluded, “I want to thank Senator Leahy and his colleagues from both sides of the aisle for the leadership they have shown on behalf of victims of abuse. It’s now time for the House to follow suit and send this bill to my desk so that I can sign it into law.”
U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D- Wash.) said, “Today marks an important step to renew our national commitment to ending domestic violence and reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. However, the clock is still ticking and over 160 million women across the country are watching and waiting to see if the House will act on this bill and finally provide them the protections from violence they deserve.”
Adding, “And just like last Congress, we all know it will take leadership from Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor to move this bill forward. The fate of VAWA still lies squarely on their shoulders and too many women have been left vulnerable while they have played politics. Thankfully, we’re beginning to see reasonable House Republicans join their colleagues in the Senate and come out in support of this bipartisan legislation.”
Murray further explained, “I am confident this bill could pass the House if Republican leadership brings it up for a vote on behalf of victims all across America who can’t wait one more day. Because who a person loves, where they live, or their immigration status shouldn’t determine whether they are protected from violence.”