You'd think the Violence Against Women Act was a nonpartisan no-brainer: can't we all agree that the federal government should work to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of violent crimes against women?
Nope. For the first time since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act does not exist, because House Republicans didn't want the bill to protect immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans — groups added to the bill by the Senate in April — so, after some futile attempts at compromise, they decided they'd rather let the law expire than protect millions of women who desperately need those resources.
Here's a statement from Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.):
"The House Republican leadership's failure to take up and pass the Senate's bipartisan and inclusive VAWA bill is inexcusable. This is a bill that passed with 68 votes in the Senate and that extends the bill's protections to 30 million more women. But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates. No matter how broad the bipartisan support, no matter who gets hurt in the process, the politics of the right wing of their party always comes first."
Now, it's back to the drawing board for the new Congress — and there will be way fewer ways for both state and local government to help survivors of domestic violence until they come up with a new plan.