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Dems introduce measure to reauthorize Violence Against Women Act

Dems introduce measure to reauthorize Violence Against Women Act
© Greg Nash

House Democrats introduced a measure on Thursday to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), laying the groundwork to extend the law for another five years. 

The law, which was first enacted in 1994, is set to expire on Sept. 30. The introduction of the reauthorization measure came as House members prepared to leave Washington on Thursday for the August recess.

They won't return until Sept. 4, meaning that lawmakers will only have a few weeks to pass the measure before the current law lapses. 

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The bill to extend the VAWA was introduced by Rep. Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeHouse panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Race debate grips Congress Congressional Black Caucus members post selfie celebrating first WH visit in four years MORE (D-Texas), Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden angers Democrats by keeping Trump-era refugee cap Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones calls on Breyer to retire Biden rebuffs Democrats, keeps refugee admissions at 15,000 MORE (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerPelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' House panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Race debate grips Congress MORE (D-Md.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the ranking member on the House Judiciary Committee.

The law is intended to crack down on perpetrators of crimes like domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

But the reauthorization bill introduced Thursday adds some provisions to the law, such as expanding housing protections for survivors and creating a Violence Against Women director position within the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

"Violence against other persons ought to be unacceptable in any venue," Hoyer, an original co-sponsor of the 1994 measure, said at an event to announce the introduction of the renewal bill.

"Violence against mothers, against wives, against daughters, against children must be unacceptable anywhere, any time, any place," he added.