I was hopeful that I might be able to give you a substantive update about the VAWA Reauthorization this week.
I have had after several conversations this week and last week with staff at both Senator Feinstein’s office and Senator Grassley’s office, and it seems unlikely that a VAWA Reauthorization bill will be passed before the end of this year.
Senators Ernst and Feinstein both introduced separate VAWA Reauthorization bills recently but they have yet to reach bi-partisan agreement on Reauthorization language that is acceptable to both Republicans and Democrats.
The disagreement around what should be included in the VAWA Reauthorization centers on three “controversial” provisions that are proving to be sticking points for both sides, and they are:
- Firearm purchase provisions
- Tribal sovereignty provisions
- LGBT provisions
Our contacts on both sides are in agreement that they really want to introduce a compromise bill by the end of the year.
I also asked staff representing Senators on both sides of the aisle if there are discussions about how to fund VAWA in the future. I asked them if VAWA will continue to be funded out of the Crime Victims’ Fund or if there might be a congressional appropriation as there used to be.
I was glad to hear that they are aware of this funding challenge and they assured me that it is a topic of ongoing conversation around VAWA-related conversations but again, they were not able to give me a substantive response that I could share with you.
Thank you for all that you do and I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!