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Rep. Mike Kelly Votes Against the Violence Against Women Act of 2013
March 1, 2013 - Ben Klein
Rep. Mike Kelly — the man who once compared birth control to 9/11 and is Rep. Glenn Thompson's BFF not suprisingly voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2013.
By a vote of 166-257, the GOP version of the Violence Against Women Act failed to win a majority after almost 90 minutes of debate. The House then voted 286-138 to pass the Senate version, with 87 Republicans joining all 199 Democrats to provide majority support.
Originally passed in 1994 and reauthorized since, the act provides support for organizations that serve domestic violence victims. Criminal prosecutions of abusers are generally the responsibility of local authorities, but the act stiffened sentences for stalking under federal law.
Supporters credit the act with sharply reducing the number of lives lost to domestic violence over the past two decades.
The New York Times said on Thursday
The newly passed legislation creates and expands federal programs to assist local communities with law enforcement and aiding victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Most notably, the bill goes further by offering protections for gay, bisexual or transgender victims of domestic abuse, as well as allowing American Indian women who are assaulted on reservations by non-Indians to take their case to tribal courts, which otherwise would not have jurisdiction over assailants who do not live on tribal land. (The failed House bill offered the same provision, but also offered non-Indian defendants the possibility to take their case to a federal court).
In completely unrelated news, a new Pew Research poll entitled "GOP Seen as Principled, But Out of Touch and Too Extreme" found "At a time when the Republican Party's image is at a historic low, 62% of the public says the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56% think it is not open to change and 52% say the party is too extreme."
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