Yarmuth calls for House vote on Violence Against Women Act; Paul says he voted 'no' because of funds

02/20/2013 04:46 PM

Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville called on House Republicans to take up the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, even though some of their colleagues in the U.S. Senate — including Kentucky’s two senators — have opposed it.

Yarmuth held a news conference at the Center For Women and Families in Louisville to discuss the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a bill meant to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

Yarmuth asked people to call their Republican congressmen to have leadership bring the bill to the floor of the U.S. House for a vote. The last version of the Violence Against Women Act expired in the House 509 days ago.

“It is unconscionable that Congress has not re-authorized one of the most successful programs in combating this violence,” Yarmuth said at the press conference.

Earlier this month, the Senate passed a piece of legislation to reauthorize the act by a vote of 78 to 22. Two of those “no” votes came from Kentucky U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul.

Yarmuth said he believes many Republicans have a problem with the legislation because of the new language extending protections to tribal members, immigrants, and members of the LGBT community.

But Paul said that those new provisions are not why he voted against it.

At a press conference down the street from Yarmuth’s, Paul said he was most concerned about where the money would come from to pay for it as well as his belief that the issue should be handled at the state level. The bill contains funding for battered women’s shelters and treatment programs.

“There’s not a civilized person in our country who is not against violence against women,” Paul said at the press conference. “The bill that we had that I opposed was $600 million in spending that would be borrowed from China.”


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