The White House has threatened to veto the House legislation, and it urged Republicans to join with the Senate in passing a bipartisan VAWA reauthorization bill that protects all victims.
Republican men and women both abhor violence against women, said Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C, who supported the House version. In fact, I would say we are more concerned about violence against women, because we want to see those women served better and we want to see the money spent better. . . . We are strengthening the Violence Against Women Act, not weakening the act.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, defended the House-passed version. He said the bill doesnt include language to provide special protective status to certain categories of people because they are already covered under VAWA. He added that the GOP version doesnt allow Native American tribes to prosecute non-Native Americans because its unconstitutional.
The Republican bill was endorsed by the National Coalition for Men, whose argument in support of the legislation appeared to undercut the GOP claim that the Violence Against Women Acts language is so broad that it already covers almost all groups.
In a letter to lawmakers, the mens rights group said the bills opponents loudly assert that VAWA serves all people, which is absurd given the name of the Act.
Opposing versions, by omission and lack of specificity, generally exclude men, particularly heterosexual men, regardless of specious arguments to the contrary, the letter read.