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National Organization of Women (NOW) President Terry O'Neill (C) participates in a rally in support of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) on Capitol Hill June 26. NOW, the National Task Force to End Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Against Women, and other groups rallied for the reauthorization of VAWA.
The House and Senate have passed competing versions of the Violence Against Women Act and are now at an impasse. Women rights' activists who support the more comprehensive, bipartisan Senate version sought to bring the issue back into the spotlight with a rally in Washington, D.C., Tuesday.
House Republicans originally disagreed with the Senate's added protections for groups not previously specifically covered by this legislation, first passed in 1994: groups like same-sex couples, illegal immigrants, and Native Americans. Now House leadership says the problem they have with the Senate version is actually related to a technical issue in the language.
From The Hill:
House Republicans say the Senate must fix a provision that renders its bill unconstitutional because it raises revenue. Legislation that raises revenue must originate in the lower chamber...
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the House had passed a bipartisan reauthorization of the law and stood ready to work with the Senate "once the Senate eliminates the unconstitutional provision" in its bill. Six House Democrats signed on to that version, while 23 Republicans voted against it.