Biden highlights work on Violence Against Women Act in new TV spot

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenNew York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Graham invites Giuliani to testify about recent Ukraine trip Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications MORE highlighted his work on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in a new TV spot that will air in Iowa. 

The 60-second video set to air in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids is part of Biden’s plan to expand VAWA in his first 100 days in office. The spot is part of the former vice president’s $4 million paid media campaign for Iowa in early 2020. YouTube and Hulu will also show the ad within the state.

The video features Chrissy Simonds, a New Hampshire resident who spoke at a town hall in New London earlier this month, who credits the vice president for fighting for her family when he advocated for VAWA.

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“I was homeless due to domestic violence,” she said in the spot. “Joe Biden became my hero that day because he didn’t even know me and he was fighting for me and my son.”

Biden pushed for the act's passage in 1994 as a section of the crime bill. Earlier this year, the bill expired, and although House and Senate Democrats have approved reauthorization bills, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment CNN's Cuomo promotes 'Dirty Donald' hashtag, hits GOP for 'loyalty oath' to Trump MORE (R-Ky.) has not brought reauthorization to the Senate floor.

Stef Feldman, the policy director for Biden's campaign, told The Hill that "there are few issues more important" to the former Delaware senator than fighting against the abuse of women.

The presidential candidate’s planned expansion of the bill would include a grant program to make it easier for survivors of violence to hold onto federal housing subsidies, $5 billion for community organizations to give cash grants to survivors and adjust the tax code to permit these people to tap into their retirement savings without the traditional penalty.

Beyond assisting survivors with housing, Feldman said Biden would also seek to combat online harassment, abuse and stalking and work through the rape kit backlog to move investigations forward. 

"I think one of the core themes of the vice president's campaign overall is tackling the abuse of power," Feldman said.

"Because it's been a core to his entire career, it's clear it would be a core part of his campaign, and it will be a core part of his agenda as president," she added.

—Updated at 3:38 p.m.