Sen. Charles Schumer said Thursday that the Senate will vote today on reauthorizing the Violence against Women Act, but the measure faces trouble if it passes in the upper chamber, as expected.
The law was passed in 1994 but expired in 2011 after being reauthorized twice. The major disputes between the Senate and the House relate to protection for immigrants, Native Americans and homosexuals. The Senate approved a reauthorization last year, but many of the protections were removed in the House version.
Schumer and fellow New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are two of 60 co-sponsors of the Act, guaranteeing passage in the Senate.
“This is a very successful law,” Schumer said. “There’s no doubt it worked.” He said the Act provided was to a large degree responsible for a 50 percent reduction in domestic violence since 1994.
Most New York Representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, support the Senate version. “The safety of Hudson Valley women and children should not be subject to partisanship. It’s ridiculous that the House has failed to pass common-sense protections for the victims of domestic violence,” according to Democratic Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney, who was quoted by the Hudson Valley Times-Record.
The stickiest issue is the provision that allows Indian tribal authorities to try non-Indians, and many Republicans have argued the clause is unconstitutional.