The Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act this afternoon, by a vote of 78 to 22. Every female senator voted in favor of the act (phew) and, naturally, those dissenting 22 were all Republican men, including rising GOP star Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who apparently decided it would be more helpful to his career if he opposed a woman-friendly bill that was expected to pass.
VAWA sputtered and died last year because Republicans were unhappy with new provisions for Native American, LGBT, and undocumented victims of domestic violence. GOP senators tried to sneak similar amendments back in before it went back up for vote this time — and, last week, eight Senators voted against debating it at all — to no avail.
Now the bill has to go to the House for a vote — not exactly the safest space for women.
From the White House's statement:
Delay isn't an option when three women are still killed by their husbands or boyfriends every day. Delay isn't an option when countless women still live in fear of abuse, and when one in five have been victims of rape. This issue should be beyond debate – the House should follow the Senate's lead and pass the Violence Against Women Act right away. This is not a Democratic or Republican issue – it's an issue of justice and compassion.