Thursday, July 26, 2012

Will Joe Heck Finally Put Nevada's Women Above "Tea Party" Xenophobia?

Back in May, we noted Joe Heck's joining with his House G-O-TEA colleagues to stonewall the Violence Against Women Act. It was really something to behold (and not in a good way).

So what's happening now? Well, it's taken a turn for the "even worse".

With Congress just days away from its August break, House Republicans have to decide which is more important: protecting victims of domestic violence or advancing the harsh antigay and anti-immigrant sentiments of some on their party's far right. At the moment, harshness is winning.

At issue is reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, the landmark 1994 law central to the nation's efforts against domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

In May, 15 Senate Republicans joined with the chamber's Democratic majority to approve a strong reauthorization bill. Instead of embracing the Senate's good work, House Republicans passed their own regressive version, ignoring President Obama's veto threat. The bill did not include new protections for gay, immigrant, American Indian and student victims contained in the Senate measure. It also rolled back protections for immigrant women, including for undocumented immigrants who report abuse and cooperate with law enforcement.

So House Republicans are still holding up the Violence Against Women Act because the "tea party" doesn't approve of brown and queer people. How precious.

Congress' August recess is fast approaching, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has still not been reauthorized. Even though the Senate already overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan, all-inclusive bill back in May, the House is playing petty political games with real people's lives. Even Dean Heller voted for the Senate VAWA, along with 14 other Senate Republicans! It's time for the House G-O-TEA to cut the crap.

Yesterday, one of the US Senators from next door (Barbara Boxer, D-CA) went on MSNBC to explain why America's women can't wait any longer for Congress to reauthorize VAWA.

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While Joe Heck and his House G-O-TEA colleagues continue wasting time in Congress, women's lives are at stake. Before Congress goes to recess, will he at least convince enough of his colleagues to pass the bipartisan, comprehensive Debate version of VAWA so that Nevada's women can have a little peace of mind? Or is the "tea party's" War on Women that much more important?

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