House Republicans unveiled their version of the Violence Against Women Act yesterday, and they’ve found all new planks to stand on.
Unlike the Senate-passed version, the House GOP’s proposed legislation does not explicitly guarantee equal coverage for gay and lesbian victims of domestic violence, and it would create a hurdle for tribal courts to prosecute non-Native Americans charged with assaulting women on tribal lands. It also includes stricter criteria for abused illegal immigrants to gain legal status. [...]
“The bill does not protect LGBT victims from discrimination by a service provider nor does it specifically include services to LGBT victims as an underserved population,” said David Stacy, deputy legislative director for Human Rights Campaign, after reviewing the language. [...]
Pat Reuss, adviser to the National Task Force to End Sexual and Domestic Violence Against Women, said “we suspect it will leave out a whole lot of victims.” Jess McIntosh, a spokeswoman for EMILY’s List, said it was “lighter on protecting women than the bipartisan Senate version.”
The wiggling and contorting House Republicans are engaging in to avoid passing this bill is remarkable.
We’ll offer coverage for gay and lesbian victims, but not really. We’ll allow tribal courts to prosecute non-Native assailants, but first you must get permission. And we’ll make it even harder for immigrants to find solace by inserting additional hoops to jump through.
I cannot envision a scenario wherein this is a political winner for the GOP. You don’t get points for technicalities with something like this. Not even if you put on a smile while rationalizing them.