House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has called on Speaker Paul Ryan to bring a new, long-term Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to the floor before the current law expires on September 30, The Hill reported on Monday.
Roll Call reported last week that the act will be extended through December 7 under a stopgap spending bill, although another Republican-sponsored bill also was filed that would extend it for six months.
In a letter sent to Ryan on Monday, Pelosi argued the short-term extension that Congress is expected to pass is not good enough and urged the GOP to bring a new long-term VAWA introduced by Texas Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee to the floor.
Pelosi stressed that the six-month extension is also inadequate, arguing it doesn’t do enough to provide protections for certain communities.
“Republicans’ decision to include only a short-term VAWA reauthorization in the must-pass minibus spending bill is nothing short of an abdication of our responsibilities to women in our country,” she said.
Ryan's office said they hope to work on a bipartisan bill after the passage of the short-term extension.
“As we work toward a larger agreement, an extension is necessary to ensure there is no lapse in the program,” Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong told The Hill. “We are confident our Democratic colleagues will join us in ensuring that doesn’t happen."
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