Player of the week: Rep. Sandy Adams (R-Fla.)

The Republican-led House is expected to pass legislation introduced by Rep. Sandy Adams (R-Fla.) that would reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act for five years.

House Republicans are touting the legislation as less controversial than the version passed by the Senate, which includes provisions on same-sex couples and illegal immigrants.

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Most congressional Democrats oppose the Adams bill and instead tout the Senate bill that sailed through the upper chamber last month on a vote of 68-31.

The partisan jockeying comes as both parties struggle for women’s votes this fall. 

House Republican leaders tapped Adams to take the lead on the legislation. She pointed out last month that she was a victim of domestic abuse, having married a “violent alcoholic” at the age of 18.

“Back then, you didn’t talk about what happened behind closed doors. You just accepted it,” she added.

Adams has made the case that this legislation should not become a political issue. But as she knows, everything is political during an election year. 

The freshman lawmaker, a Tea Party favorite, is facing Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) in a primary showdown on Aug. 14.

Mica has a significant cash advantage, but Adams believes she can rally GOP grassroots activists to defeat him, his 10-term incumbency notwithstanding.

In March, freshman Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) beat Rep. Don Manzullo (R-Ill.) in a high-profile primary. After Kinzinger’s triumph, members of the historic 2010 Republican class claimed validation.

It is clear that many freshmen will be pulling for Adams, whose campaign strategy is to pin blame for the nation’s deficit problem on Mica.

For his part, Mica has pointed to the clout he has on Capitol Hill, explaining that his seniority will enable him to help his Florida constituents more than Adams would. 

In any event, Adams will grab some of the media spotlight this week in her effort to reauthorize the domestic-violence law.