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House approves version of VAWA bill without tribal provisions

The House voted largely along party lines on Wednesday to approve H.R.4970, a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Nearly all Republicans voted for the bill over the objections of the Obama administration, tribes, women's groups and domestic violence advocates. Most Democrats voted against the measure, which they said lacks protections for American Indian and Alaska Native women.

“The House has passed a version of the Violence Against Women Act that will roll back critical provisions to help victims of abuse," Vice President Joe Biden said. "I urge Congress to come together to pass a bipartisan measure that protects all victims. VAWA has been improved each time it’s been reauthorized, and this time should be no different. ”

Democrats tried to substitute S.1925, the version passed by the Senate, but were unsuccessful. S.1925 recognizes tribal authority over non-Indians who commit domestic violence on reservations.

The differences could be resolved in a joint House-Senate conference committee.

Get the Story:
House Vote Sets Up Battle on Domestic Violence Bill (The New York Times 5/17)
Bill would give tribal courts more jurisdiction (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 5/17)
House passes Violence Against Women Act reauthorization (The Hill 5/16)

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