US House of Representatives passes law to reauthorise Violence Against Women Act
The US House of Representatives on March 17, 2021 passed a legislation to reauthorise the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which was originally introduced by President Joe Biden but lapsed in 2019
The lawmakers in the US House voted largely along party lines 244-172 to approve the legislation.
Twenty-nine Republicans joined the Democrats in voting in favour of the bill.
The bill seeking reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act was reintroduced by Representatives Sheila Jackson Lee and Brian Fitzpatrick and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler.
The legislation seeks to provide grants to state and local governments for programs addressing violence against women including domestic abuse, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking.
The law will close the so-called boyfriend loophole to prevent dating partners convicted of domestic violence or abuse from buying or owning guns.
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee while introducing the legislation said, “Women cannot go back. Women cannot continue in an intimidated fashion to tragically be subject to men who violently attack them.”
The legislation was originally enacted in 1994 and it was renewed repeatedly in the decades that followed since till its last expiration in February 2019.
In 2019, the Act did not pass through the Senate, which was controlled by Republicans at that time who objected to the gun control provision.