Schumer Blocking VAWA for Campaign Issue in Fall

Recently on the floor, I discussed the Violence Against Women Act and Minority Leader Schumer’s decision to block bipartisan wins in the Senate ahead of the upcoming election. Excerpts of my floor remarks are below, and video can be found here.

When it came time to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act last year, some in the House and some in the Senate saw an opportunity to score political points, not solve a problem.

Both sides agree there are things we could do to improve the Violence Against Women Act, and that's what our colleague from Iowa, Senator Ernst, has been leading on our side. Last fall, we thought we were making good progress.

Senator Ernst spent months working with a bipartisan group of senators, including Senator Feinstein, the senior senator from California, trying to work on a compromise. But before these negotiations could be completed, Democrats got up, and left the negotiating table, and headed straight for the TV cameras, and held a press conference condemning Republicans for not falling into line on their partisan bill.

We went through the same exercise back in 2012 and 2013. Our Democratic colleagues used this issue to attack Republicans up for reelection for not supporting their partisan bill at that time after they'd chose not to negotiate in good faith for a bipartisan bill. So I think that's what's happening again.

I believe that our colleague from California, Senator Feinstein, wants to get a bipartisan bill done.

But, frankly, I don't think she's pulling the strings on the Democratic side. I think our colleague, the Democratic Leader, is the one preventing negotiations here because his main goal, as we've seen through the impeachment circus and elsewhere, is to become the next Majority Leader, and he thinks this is the best weapon that Democrats can use to beat Republicans running for the Senate in 2020.

How shameful is that? How degrading and disrespectful is that to the people who would benefit from the passage of a consensus, bipartisan Violence Against Women Act?

I can only hope that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will return to the negotiating table and work with us to finally reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.


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