Both the House and Senate passed their own versions during the 112th Congress, but neither chamber took up the other's version. The Senate would have to approve any changes the House makes or vote to go to conference committee to work out the differences.

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The Senate-version of VAWA reauthorization extends protections for victims of domestic violence to Native Americans, LGBT victims and immigrants. 

Republicans have raised concerns over a provision that would give tribal authorities jurisdiction over non-Indians in some domestic violence cases on tribal land, saying that provision violations constitutional rights of U.S. citizens. Senate Republicans tried to stripe that language from the bill but failed. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has proposed language that would grant tribes the new authority over non-Native American domestic abusers but would allow abusers to transfer their cases to a federal court if they felt their rights weren't being upheld. It is unclear if the House and Senate will agree on this compromise.

The Senate bill also prohibits discrimination against LGBT victims in grant programs to help victims, and would let illegal immigrants stay in the country to receive help if they are victims of domestic violence or rape.

VAWA provides grants to victims of domestic violence in order to encourage victims to leave their abusive situations. Some feel they can’t get away from their abusers because they might not have another form of family income, so the grants can provide housing assistance and cellphones for victims. Under this reauthorization bill, these programs would continue for another five years.