The House passed the Violence Against Women Act in a 263-158 vote. The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), landmark legislation first passed with bipartisan support in 1994, had it’s funding expire on February 15th after Congress failed to include it in the compromise federal spending bill passed the day before. The VAWA was initially set to expire last September, however Congress approved short-term stopgap funding legislation while negotiations continued.
The act establishes and funds the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women and provides funding for the investigation and prosecution of domestic and other interpersonal violence, stalking, and sexual assault. On March 7th of this year, House Democrats introduced a reauthorization bill, H.R. 1585 that would not only reauthorize funding for VAWA's existing programs but also establish new policies to help abuse victims remain in stable housing, expand red-flag laws to block people convicted of dating abuse or stalking from accessing guns, and broaden protections against abuse for Native American women.
Congress must act quickly to restore funding for crucial programs while also modernizing the legislation to be more inclusionary and expansive of protections.
One call to make: Senators Kennedy and Cassidy, and Representative Richmond or Scalise
Because of how Congressional districts are drawn, New Orleans residents have either Richmond or Scalise as their representative. If you don't know who your representative is, you can look it up by entering your home address on the U.S. House of Representatives website.
Representative Cedric Richmond - in DC at (202) 225-6636, and in New Orleans at (504) 288-3777
Representative Steve Scalise - in DC at (202) 225-3015, and in Metairie at (504) 837-1259
Hello. My name is [Your Name] and I'm an active voter from New Orleans, ZIP Code 70118 [Or wherever you’re from].
IF CALLING REPRESENTATIVE RICHMOND:
I want to thank Representative Richmond for cosponsoring H.R. 1585, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
IF CALLING REPRESENTATIVE SCALISE:
I’m calling to support, H.R. 1585, the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, to ensure the continuation of crucial programs protecting people from domestic violence. I also fully support the expansion of the act to include:
(pick 2-3 reasons important to you):
including protections for transgender individuals,
broadening protections for Native American women,
helping abuse victims remain in stable housing,
expanding red-flag laws to block people convicted of dating abuse or stalking.
Thank you for all your hard work answering phones.
This call is adapted from 5calls.org, which can be viewed here.