Democratic strategist calls delay to renew Violence Against Women’s Act ‘abhorrent’

Democratic strategist Adrienne Elrod called the delay by Congress to renew the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA) “abhorrent,” and said it reflects poorly on the Republican-controlled Congress.

Even though the bipartisan bill has long held support from both sides of the aisle, the landmark bill is set to expire on September 30 as Congress scrambles to pass a number of funding measures to avert yet another government shutdown.

“This is why the optics look really bad for Republicans because Republicans are in control of the House and Senate, so they can control the floor schedule and they can decide in the committees what to prioritize and what not to,” Elrod, a former spokesperson for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats battle for Hollywood's cash The House Judiciary Committee's fundamental choice Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire MORE's 2016 presidential campaign, told Hill.TV co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on “Rising.”

“The fact that we are even down to trying to get this passed in four legislative days is abhorrent,” she added.

Women make up less than 20 percent of Congress. 

But Elrod argues that this is neither a partisan or a gender issue.

“This should not be, of course, a man vs. woman issue – it should be an issue that transcends gender – we’ve got to get this passed. It’s provides very important funding to local agencies to ensure that victims of domestic violence get the resources they need to move on,” the strategist said.

Republican strategist Cabot Phillips agreed, arguing that’s it’s part of a larger issue.

Congress has a habit of running awfully close to deadlines on just about every major issue, but Phillips says this is exactly why Americans as a whole are frustrated with government and said it’s a major reason why lawmakers struggle to get anything done.

“I definitely think the main problem is it’s not Republicans don’t care about the bill – I think it’s people on both sides of the aisle doing a very poor time of actually getting to work,” Phillips told Hill.TV.

But the strategist said he thinks the bill won’t expire, saying Congress will be able to pass the landmark bill last-minute.

First passed in 1994 by President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonThe Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached Impeachment can't wait Turley: Democrats offering passion over proof in Trump impeachment MORE, the Violence Against Women Act was the first federal piece of legislation to recognize domestic violence as a serious crime and it has been reauthorized three times over the past two decades with bipartisan support. 

— Tess Bonn