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.

Education Dept. Announces New Teacher Prep. Evaluation System

The new regulations require states to move towards outcomes rather than inputs, such as new teacher employment, as well as surveys on effective preparation, student learning outcomes

Feature: Arab Spring Culminates in Tunisian Presidential Election

A woman inks her finger before casting her vote in Tunisia's presidential election. November 23, 2014. Photo: Luke Vargas/TRNS

Tunisians voted to elect a new president on Sunday, bringing full circle the democratic aspirations first articulated in the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011.

Gov. Nixon Issues Additional National Guard Troops to Ferguson

National Guard presence will be upped from 700 troops on Monday to 2,200 on Tuesday – roughly a tenth of Ferguson’s population.

Pentagon Refutes Claims of “Bad Blood” Between Hagel and White House

Even as Defense Sec. Hagel’s resignation was met with claims that he was pushed out. Pentagon Press Secretary, Rear Adm. Kirby, said this is false.

CDC: One Third Of HIV Infections Getting Treated

About 20 percent of those that do not have HIV under control are unaware that they have the virus, according to a CDC report.

Brown Family Attorneys Condemn Grand Jury Decision

Brown Family Attorney Benjamin Crump called the process “unfair” and broken.” Sharpton said that St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch had gone out of his way to criminalize Brown.