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Boehner Finally Sends VAWA to Obama's Desk

Updated on March 13, 2013

After 500-plus days of essentially abetting perpetrators of domestic abuse, by overseeing the lapse of the Violence Against Women Act, the Republican-controlled House is at long last attempting to remedy their abhorrent negligence.


Only after seeing their own pared-down version of VAWA - in which they legally shun certain victims deemed unworthy of protection - go down in flames with a 166-257 vote, did the leadership of the House GOP inevitably realize that they could not garner enough support even amongst themselves to protect victimized women.

Not much of a priority, I gather.

Politics being what they are - with that darned domestic violence is frowned upon thing - and despite their better judgment; conservatives had little choice but to acquiesce to common sense in the end, and begrudgingly relay the Senate version of VAWA on to President Obama's desk for his signature into law.

Perhaps I'm being too kind.

In a 286-138 vote, every single nay vote was cast by a Republican male representative.


Eric Cantor - who earlier in the week was praised by VP Joe Biden for pleading with his conservative peers simply to allow a vote on the matter - took the opportunity, interestingly enough, to vote against the bill.

In fact, the majority of Republicans were with the nays. This in contrast to only four House nays & unanimous Senate support for VAWA way, way back in 2005.

Such is life for Speaker John Boehner. While I would tend to disagree with the Speaker on a litany of issues - and aside from his propensity for expletives and sobbing - I do feel for the man. A career of herding feral cats is by no means an enviable endeavor.

To his great credit (and perhaps to the detriment of his role as Speaker), Boehner took the exceedingly ordinary measure (three times now recently) of forgoing the Hastert rule by allowing a vote to go to floor despite his own party's reluctance. While the majority of the majority standard may be politically expedient and regularly demanded within intra-party circles, Boehner instead chose to lead on this one.

VP Joe Biden, author of original VAWA in 1994
VP Joe Biden, author of original VAWA in 1994 | Source

While praise from a liberal may fall upon deaf ears, kudos to Speaker Boehner.

I could say that he was forced once again by the hard-line idealogues in his party, to plead hat-in-hand with Nancy Pelosi for assistance - but I suppose that wouldn't much help his cause.

Boehner may not be a fan favorite - well, anywhere - but he is far preferable in his role to anyone else, and he is indeed a reasonable man.

How would a Speaker Cantor, or Speaker McCarthy sound? Ugh.




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