Senate to Vote on Domestic Violence Bill Tuesday

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Contact: Jared King
Communications Director
Navajo Nation Washington Office
Cell 202-200-0625
jking@nnwo.org

***LEGISLATIVE ALERT***

Senate to Vote on Domestic Violence Bill Tuesday

WASHINGTON—The Senate is expected to vote on passage of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, S 47, early on Tuesday, February 12. The Senate rejected an amendment earlier this evening introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma that would have stripped the tribal provisions within the domestic violence measure.

S 47 would allow tribes to prosecute non-Indians in narrow circumstances where they commit acts of domestic violence against Indians or violate domestic violence related protection orders. Defendants would need to have ties to the tribe, and prosecuting tribes would have to guarantee certain rights for defendants.

Last year, the House and Senate passed competing reauthorization measures after VAWA expired in 2011. Congress was unable to reach a compromise because of House objections to proposed revenue increases to pay for more visas given to undocumented immigrant crime victims. S 47 does not include the visa provision, but the tribal provisions have become a main point of contention over the measure.

Currently sponsored only by Democrats, HR 11, a bill identical to S 47, has been introduced in the House. House Republicans are expected to introduce a separate version of the domestic violence bill.

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