The Leahy Letter Special Edition -- The Violence Against Women Act

Senator Leahy
2013-02-13 20:12:33
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The Leahy Violence Against Women Act Passes The Senate

Senator Leahy hailed Senate passage Tuesday of his Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA), which will renew and strengthen VAWA’s proven efforts to prevent and remedy domestic and sexual violence and help victims.  The bipartisan Leahy-Crapo bill (Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho is his lead Republican cosponsor of the Leahy bill) passed in a strong vote of 78 to 22. The bill now goes to the House for consideration, and Senator Leahy is urging House leaders to move promptly to the bill.  Senator Leahy, who now has an additional leadership role as Senate President Pro Tem, had pressed to make VAWA a top priority for early Senate action, and the Senate vote came early on in the new 113th Congress, just weeks after the session began. 
“There is strong, bipartisan support for VAWA reauthorization, and together we can finally finish what we started last year,” he said. “We are deeply indebted to the women and men around the country who have been working with us and have been steadfast in their commitment to the victims and to our efforts to combat domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault.”
The bill reauthorizes the landmark Violence Against Women Act and strengthens, consolidates and improves existing programs that assist victims and survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.  The bill closely mirrors the bipartisan Leahy VAWA bill approved by the Senate last year. The Senate further improved the legislation by adding the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, an amendment offered by Leahy.  The Senate approved the Leahy-Crapo bill in April 2012, but Congress did not complete action on the measure.

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Leahy Addresses the Passage of VAWA in the Senate
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The Leahy Trafficking Victims Protection Act
Sails Through The Senate

The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly adopted a Leahy human trafficking amendment to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act prior to voting on final passage of the bill.  Leahy’s amendment, adopted with the support of 93 senators from both parties, would reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA).  The reauthorization provides law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to investigate human trafficking crimes domestically and supports efforts to address the issue of trafficking abroad. 
“Today is February 12, the day on which Abraham Lincoln was born. It was one hundred and fifty years ago that he delivered the Emancipation Proclamation, and it would be fitting that the Senate pass the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act on his birthday,” Leahy said.  “Although the 13th amendment to our Constitution was ratified long ago making slavery illegal, we continue to fight human trafficking, which can amount to modern day slavery.”

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