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Senate keeps tribal jurisdiction provisions in VAWA measure

[YouTube: Senate Votes Down Amendment to Remove Tribal Provisions from Violence Against Women Act]
The Senate on Monday voted against removing tribal jurisdiction provisions from S.47, a bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) proposed an an amendment to strip out the provisions. He claimed that allowing tribal to prosecute non-Indians was unconstitutional.

Democrats, led by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), the new chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, spoke in favor of the tribal provisions. They were able to defeat the amendment by a vote of 31 to 59.

“If you think you are rooting out crime in America and you are letting a sieve happen in Indian Country you are not rooting out crime. You are sending a signal to people that this is an easy place to go. You are saying that this is the place where you can escape the law," Cantwell said on the Senate floor.

Only four Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the amendment. They included Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a former vice chair of the committee, and Rep. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), another committee member.

All four of the remaining Republican members of the committee, however, voted to remove the tribal provisions. They included Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), the current vice chair, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), a former chair, and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska), a new member of Congress.

The Senate is set for a final vote on S.47 today.

Get the Story:
Senate heads toward vote on renewing and expanding anti-domestic violence act (AP 2/12)
Senate Votes Against Stripping Tribal Land Provision From Domestic Violence Measure (The New York Times 2/11)

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