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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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    • Justin Earick profile image

      Justin Earick 4 years ago from Tacoma, WA

      VAWA lapsed for 501 days because the House GOP refused to acknowledge the rape and abuse of women they don't deem worthy of protection.

      War on Women be damned!

      The GOP has told LGBT, immigrant, & native women that they don't matter. Many in the House GOP seem to think that it's okay to rape and abuse certain women in this country - evidenced by the majority of House GOP voting against VAWA.

      Luckily, Pelosi & House Dems helped them out of digging their own hole even deeper.

    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 4 years ago

      Um...nope. I'm saying that all women were already covered under the bill. Actually, as were men who were victims of domestic violence and stalking.

      Since you're so intent on accusing Republicans of thinking it's okay to "rape and abuse", I think I'll quit responding while you, hopefully, calm down. If that's even possible. I perceive so much hatefulness in your words that I don't think you'll listen to reason at all. And honestly, I'm human, so it's only natural for me to be upset myself at hearing you accuse people of thinking it's okay for ANYONE to be abused. That's just horrifying to me that you'd accuse people of that simply because they don't jump when Obama says jump. So I'll take a little breather myself. Try to get some of that hatred out of your heart please.

    • profile image

      Brenda Durham 4 years ago

      Justin, I recommend that you actually look up more information about this before you keep ranting and accusing the GOP.

      "Abetting perpetuators of domestic violence" you said.

      Well, from the information I looked up, the VAWA Act never stopped being in force. So there was no attempt to take away protection from women victims, and no danger of that even happening anyway!

      It's just like Obama's recent fear-mongering accusation of the GOP that if they don't do what he says about the "sequestration" that doom will fall upon employees and firemen and servicemen and mothers and all that. Pshaw! He's simply trying to scare the crap outta people so he will get his way!

      The GOP just didn't like some provisions in it VAWA bill that called for special rights for specific groups of people. I couldn't find out whether those provisions were in the original version, or whether the Democrat-controlled Senate had recently inserted those points into it or what............but either way, it is clear that the Left's constant insulting and accusing of the Right has made the Right kinda scared to do much of anything! I'd be rather scared myself if I were a elected Official, knowing full well how even I as a regular citizen have been harrassed online by rude and mean Leftists.

      So, really, I'd ask you to reconsider your accusations here. But whatever. If you don't, then that's just more proof of the fear-mongering rhetoric that's been stymying the GOP who're simply trying to do their jobs.

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I agree that it was commendable for Boehner and Cantor to allow this bill to come to the floor for a vote. But I believe they only did it for political expediency. They know they have lost the female vote in a massive way. They cannot allow this to continue especially with a popular measure such as this. Great Hub, Justin.