If we’ve come to the point where Republicans believe that dealing with domestic violence is within the purview of the federal government, we should just stick a fork in the party. Yet, not only do Republicans in the House plan to reauthorize the wasteful and politically-motivated Violence Against Women Act, they plan to pass the Senate version (S.47), which contains egregious anomalies.
The Senate bill expands “coverage” to men, homosexuals, transgendered individuals and prisoners. It expands the definition of domestic violence to include causing “emotional distress” or using “unpleasant speech.” It ostensibly nullifies the legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The bill also expands the law’s reach to give tribal Indian authorities jurisdiction over non-Indians accused of abusing Indian women. Finally, what good is a social engineering bill without tossing in bones to the most sacrosanct constituency, illegal immigrants? It would grant more visas to illegal immigrants who are victims of domestic abuse.
Last year, the House passed a version that was, more or less, a clean reauthorization. That was the best we could expect from them. But now, in the hopes of not being outbid in gender warfare, they plan to bring the bill to the floor in a way that will ensure the Senate bill passes.
Yesterday, we spoke about the lack of leadership in the Senate to block bad legislation from coming to a final vote. This is a classic example of how the Republican minority in the Senate empowers Harry Reid to jam the House and pressure an already flaccid House leadership to acquiesce to abhorrent pieces of legislation. Several weeks ago, half the GOP conference voted for the juiced up version of VAWA. Now the House has decided to throw in the towel.
Folks, we live in dark times. The Democrats are more radical (and successful) than they’ve ever been, yet there is virtually no opposition to anything they do. All they have to do is insert the word “women” into the title of a bill, and they win the battle without firing a shot. The sad irony is that this comes at a time when the radicals are promoting women to serve in direct ground combat, an absurdity that has already and will continue to promote real violence against women – both at war and at home.
Later this afternoon, the House will take up the rule for this bill (H Res 83). If the House fails to pass the regular version of VAWA, the rule automatically triggers consideration of the Senate bill. Once brought to the floor, the Senate version will pass because all the Democrats will support it. Some conservatives might feel inclined to support the “clean” extension, lest it be voted down in favor for the Senate bill. However, the reality is that GOP losership is hell bent on getting this thing passed instead of engaging in a real philosophical debate. Even if they pass the clean bill, they will just appoint conferees to a conference committee that will insert all the onerous provisions from the Senate bill into the final version. That’s why the default position is to stand on principle and vote the entire bill down.
In fact, as Erick pointed out yesterday, this is one of those examples where conservatives need to take down the rule. Yes, they should vote against this ridiculous rule, which is politically motivated. There is no reason they should be considering this bill anyway. Why is a GOP-controlled House taking up leftist legislation instead of bills to block grant Medicaid, repeal ethanol mandates, or reform the Fed? Even if they choose to bring up bad legislation, they should do so under an open amendment process.
Call your member of Congress and ask him/her to vote down the rule on this unconstitutional federal power grab.