Defying a White House veto threat, the House approved a version of the Violence Against Women Act amid furious backlash from Democrats and women's groups that it wouldn't do enough to protect abused victims, reports Politico.com. Yesterday's vote to renew the 1994 law was 222-205. Twenty-three Republicans voted against the bill, while six Democrats voted for it. Vice President Joe Biden, who wrote the law as a senator, said the Republican version would water down key protections for victims.
Republicans lashed out at Democrats for politicizing the debate over reauthorizing the law — which is normally widely bipartisan — and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) blamed Senate Democrats for attempting to use VAWA as election-year campaign fodder. Congressional Democrats argued that the Republicans' version of the law would weaken existing protections for domestic violence victims. “As a member of this body and a survivor of sexual assault [ ] I can tell you it's traumatic to be here today and to find my colleagues not taking the recommended updates that people who work with domestic violence victims have put in front of them as best practices,” said Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI).