WH Lobbying Intensely For Renewal Of Anti-Violence Law

The Obama administration is putting its muscle behind a national effort to reauthorize an 18-year-old law that protects women from violence and other abuse.

The Obama administration is putting its muscle behind a national effort to reauthorize an 18-year-old law that protects women from violence and other abuse.

Vice President Joe Biden headlined a forum at the White House on Wednesday to promote the Violence Against Women Act, which has directed billions of dollars over the years to help states and localities beef up investigations into acts of violence committed against female victims. The White House credits the law with having reduced yearly incidents of violent crimes against women by 50 percent.

The law expired last year, but a re-authorization measure introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee last month. Several Republicans, however, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), say they won’t support the bill when it comes to the floor unless a litany of provisions are removed.

“VAWA is meant to protect victims of violence,” Grassley said back in February. “It shouldn’t be an avenue to expand immigration law or to give additional benefits to people here unlawfully.”

Biden, who drafted the original version of the bill, which then-President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994, said today that renewing it should be a no-brainer.

“The idea we’re still fighting about this in the Congress, that this is even a debatable issue, is truly sad,” he said. “It’s not a reflection on the law, it’s a reflection on our inability in this town to deal with something that by now, should just be over in terms of the debate about it.”

In addition to ramping up efforts to extend the law, President Obama today issued a directive requiring all federal agencies to put in place policies to aid domestic violence victims who may be experiencing spill-over effects in the workplace.

“We know that domestic violence doesn’t just stay in the home,” said Biden. “It can extend into the workplace, with devastating effects on its victims and costs that ripple across the economy. Federal employees aren’t immune.”

Tags:

Geoff Holtzman
Geoff Holtzman is Talk Radio News Service's Deputy Bureau Chief. As one of TRNS's primary correspondents, he helps cover the White House and Capitol Hill. Geoff also covered the 2012 presidential campaign, following the candidates to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and elsewhere. In the process, he learned that not all Motel 6's are created equal. Follow Geoff on Twitter @Geoff_Holtzman.

Obama Signs Bill Banning Iranian Diplomat From U.S.

Hamid Abutalebi was involved in the 1979 hostage crisis in Iran where Americans were held for more than a year.

Homs, Syria A “Theatre Of Death And Destruction”: UN Envoy

Recent fighting in the city has cut its residents off from urgent deliveries of humanitarian aid, the opposition Syrian National Coalition said.

Crimea Will Be Ours Again: Ukraine PM

Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Ukraine is ready to fight to hold onto the annexed region, but will concentrate on working with the international community.

Review On Keystone Pipeline Delayed, Again

The delayed review of the pipeline now likely takes the issue off the table for the upcoming November elections.

White House: Antisemitic Flyers Disturbing, But Origins Unclear

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Friday told TRNS he wasn’t sure who was behind antisemitic flyers in eastern Ukraine.

Experts: Despite Little Progress, ‘Pivot To Asia’ Not Yet Dead

Senior Administration Officials

A talk hosted by The Brookings Institution looked at how the Obama administration can still make it’s ‘pivot to Asia’ work despite lost time.