The House of Representatives just passed a bill that protects women who are victims of domestic violence. The vote was 199 Democrats and 87 Republicans for the bill. The bill renewed an act passed in 1994.
Democrats had to attract Republicans for the bill to pass. Republicans supported their own bill, which Democrats thought was too weak on important issues. In the end politics won out. Republicans lost the majority of the women’s vote.in the 2012 presidential election. Political observers say more moderate Republicans are trying to win them back.
There are important features in the new bill. The Act strengthened protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (L.G.B.T.) victims of domestic abuse. It also confirmed protection for immigrants and Native American women on reservations.
The Act provides services such as shelters and legal help for domestic abuse victims. Their sexual orientation or immigrant status is not an issue.
One item that did not become part of the Act would have increased the number of visas for battered women who were undocumented residents. Democrats hope to add that measure to a future immigration bill.
The Republicans in the House are split over helping to pass bills supported by most Democrats. In this bill, 87 of 234 House Republicans went to the Democratic side.