A new version of the Violence Against Women Act, the legislation that Democrats used as a backdrop to accuse Republicans of waging a “war on women,” passed the Senate Thursday afternoon 68 to 31.
Fifteen Republicans joined every Democrat in voting for the measure. The passage reauthorizes a wide variety of services for abused women and men for five years.
“This violence must end,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) of Minnesota, one of the bill’s main champions, on the Senate floor Thursday. “And so we all know that we can no longer stand and say it is someone else’s problem. We can’t let our own differences, minor that they may be on various provisions, get in the way.”
The House is expected to vote on VAWA, as the law is known, next month. Republicans in that chamber are drafting their own version.
Traditionally, VAWA generated nary a bit of partisan sniping. This year, however, Republican concerns over a handful of new provisions in the Senate legislation gave Democrats an opening to slam their GOP colleagues for standing in the bill’s way.
In doing so, Democrats hoped to advance their already-large advantage with female voters in presidential polls by painting Republican resistance to the bill as further proof of their argument that Republicans are waging a “war on women.”