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Violence Against Women Act expires, House GOP takes the blame

If you were feeling nostalgic for the good old days of 2012 and the never-ending cries of the GOP’s “War on Women,” good news! While Congress managed to put together an abomination of a fiscal cliff deal and avert the “milk cliff” with a temporary farm bill extension, legislators let 1994’s Violence Against Women Act expire. Since the House GOP is being blamed for everything else, why not take the fall here as well? Obviously, Republican representatives hate women and are pro-rape, right?

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Many consider the VAWA to be “bipartisan” legislation that should have no problem being renewed. So while many blame the House GOP for suddenly blocking legislation that the Senate passed in April, they fail to note that the House passed its own version of the bill in May. Among the points of contention between the bills were expanded protections for green card holders, which some feared could be abused by immigrants to obtain visas. The Senate version would also expand the jurisdiction of Native American courts, allowing tribal courts to prosecute non-Native Americans.

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With Congress managing to leave so much undone in 2012, it doesn’t take a war on women to explain how the VAWA fell through the cracks. Congress will almost certainly take up the bill in the next session, and programs that receive money from the VAWA will continue to be funded through March. That doesn’t keep the House GOP from shouldering the blame for keeping the war on women going into the new year, though. Will Republicans manage to get a handle on the “war on women” meme before 2016? Could they start now?

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