The House on Thursday gave final approval to a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, sending a bipartisan Senate measure to President Obama after a House plan endorsed by conservatives was defeated.
The legislation passed on a vote of 286 to 138, with 199 Democrats joining 87 Republicans in support of the reauthorization of the landmark 1994 law, which assists victims of domestic and sexual violence. It amounted to a significant victory for the president and Congressional Democrats, who have assailed Republicans for months for stalling the legislation.
The newly passed legislation creates and expands federal programs to assist local communities with law enforcement and aiding victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Most notably, the bill goes further by offering protections for gay, bisexual or transgender victims of domestic abuse, as well as allowing American Indian women who are assaulted on reservations by non-Indians to take their case to tribal courts, which otherwise would not have jurisdiction over assailants who do not live on tribal land. (The failed House bill offered the same provision, but also offered non-Indian defendants the possibility to take their case to a federal court).
Source: New York Times