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House Republicans push for vote on Violence Against Women Act
Moderate Republican members in the House are calling on leadership to bring the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to the floor before it expires on Sept. 30.
Reps. John Katko (R-N.Y.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) - all members of the Tuesday Group and the Republican Main Street Caucus - sent a letter on Monday to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) urging swift action to be taken as there are just seven legislative days remaining on the calendar.
"Since being signed into law in 1994, VAWA has helped to protect and support millions of Americans who have faced domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking," they wrote.
"This landmark legislation has drastically improved our nation's response to these crimes and has contributed to the overall declining rates of domestic abuse since its enactment. However, instances of violence are still very common."
The group cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics showing one in three women and one in six men encounter sexual violence during their lifetime. According to the lawmakers, the extension of the VAWA plays a pivotal role in maintaining programs aimed at protecting those experiencing abuse.
"The programs provide funding to ensure safety and support for survivors, increase prevention efforts, expand educational awareness surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault, implement training for health professionals and law enforcement, and to coordinate responses across agencies," they continued.
"We have all seen the positive impact of these programs in our districts and have met individuals in our communities who have benefited from the protections this law provides."
Davis - who noted dozens of lawmakers signed on to the letter initially drafted by Katko - said they brought the issue up to leadership at their weekly cross-section lunch.
"It's an issue that they know we feel is important and we felt sending a letter expressing that importance was the next best step," he told The Hill. "And we're looking forward to hearing back from the Speaker and leader McCarthy and leadership on our side."
The Illinois Republican said they are looking to work with both members of leadership and the House Judiciary Committee on a path forward.