McCain brought up the fact that VAWA has been reauthorized twice since 1994, once under Republican leadership and once under Democratic leadership. He also said he thinks the Senate will easily pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, S. 1925.

"I don't think any points of disagreement are big enough to stop us from passing this," McCain said. "We're surely united to prevent violence against the innocent."

Some of the Republicans have come out against the fact that the Democratic bill would increase the deficit, by increasing access to U.S. visas for aliens who suffer domestic abuse.

An alternative GOP bill from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) would maintain the current amount of visas available to aliens who need non-immigrant status to access the help of law enforcement authorities in domestic abuse cases. Republicans said the Democratic proposal to expand these visas would lead to the $105 million in new deficits under the bill.

Senate leaders said they are working out an agreement on amendments to the bill, to meet a Republican request to strengthen language dealing with incarcerating perpetrators of domestic abuse. Leaders were hoping to announce an agreement on how to move the bill forward this afternoon.