Law | National | Politics

The Votes: Crossing party lines on Violence Against Women Act

The House voted largely along party lines on Wednesday to approve H.R.4970, a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, with a few defections on both sides of the aisle.

Tribes urged lawmakers to vote against the bill. They said it fails to protect American Indian and Alaska Native women from non-Indian abusers.

Of the 23 Republicans who heeded the call, some come from districts with significant Indian populations. They include Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Arizona), whose district covers several Apache reservations and parts of the Navajo Nation.

Others, like Rep. Tom McClintock (R-California), are known for their favorable records on Indian issues. McClintock's district includes at least one reservation but otherwise lacks a large Indian population.

Another notable Republican "no" vote came from Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who has effectively suspended his presidential campaign. His district lacks a significant Indian presence.

On the Democratic side, there were six votes in favor of the bill despite the tribal objections. The most surprising came from Rep. Dan Boren (D-Oklahoma), the ranking Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs.

Every other Democrat on the subcommittee voted against the bill.

Another Democrat who defected was Rep. Michael McIntyre (D-North Carolina), whose district includes the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. And two other "ayes" came from other lawmakers with tribes in their districts -- Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Rep. Colin Peterson (D-Minnesota).

Related Stories:
Tribes slam weakened version of Violence Against Women Act (5/17)
House approves version of VAWA bill without tribal provisions (5/17)
GOP bill report questions data on crime against Indian women (5/16)
White House raises veto threat against Republican VAWA bill (5/16)
House to debate Violence Against Women Act reauthorization (5/15)
Editorial: Going backward on the Violence Against Women Act (5/15)
Jodi Gillette: Restore tribal court authority in VAWA measure (5/14)
Jefferson Keel: Tribal jurisdiction doesn't violate Constitution (5/14)
Robert Porter: Tribal jurisdiction in VAWA bill protects rights (5/8)
Suquamish Tribe walk raises awareness of domestic violence (5/2)
Sen. Kyl: Tribal provisions in VAWA bill violate US Constitution (5/1)
Levi Rickert: Victory for Native women in VAWA Senate vote (4/30)
Senate backs reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act (4/27)
Tulalip Tribes vice chair pushes for reauthorization of VAWA (4/26)
Sen. Tom Udall floor statement on tribes and VAWA measure (4/26)
Obama administration against Alaska tribal VAWA exclusion (4/26)
APRN: Alaska Natives angry about exclusion from VAWA bill (4/26)
Opinion: Republican VAWA amendment dangerous for tribes (4/26)
No explanation for Alaska Native exclusion from VAWA bill (4/25)
White House reaffirms support for tribal provisions in VAWA (4/24)
Alaska Natives excluded from tribal jurisdiction in VAWA bill (4/24)
Opinion: GOP roadblock to the Violence Against Women Act (4/23)
Speech by Attorney General Eric Holder at VAWA event (4/18)
Sho-Ban leader joins Vice President Biden at VAWA event (4/16)
Editorial: Set aside politics for Violence Against Women Act (03/22)
Blog: Senate Republicans fight Violence Against Women Act (3/21)
Democrats push for action on Violence Against Women Act (3/15)
Opinion: Violence Against Women Act helps Indian women (3/15)
Turtle Talk: Republicans fighting Indian provisions in VAWA (3/12)
Rep. Betty McCollum co-sponsors SAVE Native Women Act (3/8)
Sen. Hatch opposes bill provisions to protect Native women (3/7)

Join the Conversation