In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Senate Poised To Pass Violence Against Women Act - But House Outlook Remains Uncertain


Despite the unusually large Senate consensus, there has been no perceptible movement among House Republican leaders since they passed a scaled-back version of VAWA on a party-line vote last year, rejecting the Senate legislation.

In an exchange on the floor Wednesday, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) needled Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) on VAWA. Cantor responded that it's a "priority" for Republicans to "move and act on this bill" - but signaled that divisions linger.

"We want to protect the women who are subject to abuse on tribal lands, and unfortunately there are issues that don't directly bear on that that have come up, that have complicated it," Cantor said. "But in working with [Hoyer's] office as well as the vice president's, I hope to be able to deal with this and bring it up in a expeditious manner."

By the end of the week, House Republican leaders had no progress to speak of.

"Silence," said a senior House Democratic aide.

"There is no reason for them not to take this bill up and pass it," Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) told TPM last Thursday, expressing hope that House leaders will permit a vote. "I think they are hearing from a number of their moderate Republican women, particularly after the last election. I think they are looking bad hiding behind not moving a strong bill."