House Debates Violence Against Women Act

February 26, 2013

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- House members debated the Violence Against Women Act on Tuesday. The dispute remains over whether the House version should include added protections for American Indian and LGBT communities.

The Senate passed these added provisions earlier this month. The House removed the LGBT language and modified a provision that would allow tribal courts the authority to deal with non-native men who abuse Native American women.

Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina said those groups are protected under the House version.

"I don’t know what category of species is left out of ‘no person shall on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or disability,’" Gowdy said. "That covers everyone."

Many lawmakers are concerned that without naming the vulnerable groups, advocacy programs and shelters will not receive federal funding to protect them.

The House plans to vote on the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act as early as Thursday. If it doesn’t pass, the House Rules Committee agreed to allow them to then vote on the Senate version.