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Sixteen female senators signed a letter Thursday urging NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to institute a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence.  

They said they are “shocked and disgusted” by the video released this week of former Baltimore Raven running back Ray Rice punching his now-wife in an elevator in February. 

{mosads}”Tragically, this is not the only case of an NFL player allegedly assaulting a woman even within the last year,” they wrote in the letter urging the no-tolerance policy. 

Every female Democratic senator signed on except Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.). Landrieu is facing a tough reelection race.

Republican Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) signed the letter, while Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) did not. 

The NFL has suspended Rice indefinitely, reversing course after initially handing down a two-game suspension before the video was released. The Baltimore Ravens cut him and canceled his contract.

In August, the NFL instituted a six-game suspension policy for violent crimes and a full ban after the second offense. But the senators noted a player could petition for reinstatement after a year. 

“We are deeply concerned that the NFL’s new policy, announced last month, would allow a player to commit a violent act against a woman and return after a short suspension,” they wrote. “If you violently assault a woman, you shouldn’t get a second chance to play football in the NFL.”

The NFL has tapped former FBI Director Robert Mueller to lead an independent investigation into the league’s handling of the Rice incident after questions of when it first obtained the video released publicly this week. A number of lawmakers have piled on criticism this week.  

The White House declined Thursday to comment on the NFL’s handling of the situation, or calls for Goodell to resign over his role in the league’s response.

“I haven’t heard the president comment specifically on the actions or the handling of the situation of the National Football League,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

Justin Sink contributed.

— This story was updated at 2:35 p.m.

Tags Claire McCaskill Deb Fischer Domestic violence Kelly Ayotte Lisa Murkowski Mary Landrieu NFL Susan Collins

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