Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress are reintroducing a bill aimed at combating violence against women. A press conference originally scheduled for Tuesday has been rescheduled for Wednesday.
A previous version of the bill expired, as CNN reports:
Supporters of the Violence Against Women Act hope to revive the law in a new Congress after efforts to renew it failed in the last one.
“It is an early priority for us,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, told CNN as the 113th Congress convened Thursday. “Since it passed the Senate last time, with two more Democrats in the Senate, we hope that it will have an easy path there and a doable path there — and a successful one in the House.”
The Violence Against Women Act mostly provides support for organizations that serve domestic violence victims. Criminal prosecutions of abusers are generally the responsibility of local authorities, but the act stiffened sentences for stalking under federal law.
Both the House and Senate passed versions of the bill in the last session of Congress, but couldn’t reconcile the two before the session ended. According to Huffington Post, the Senate version would have extended domestic violence protections to people in same-sex relationships, undocumented immigrants and Native American women. The House version did not include those provisions.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has listed the Violence Against Women Act among several unfinished bills from the last session that the Senate will make high priorities.