Congress had a lengthy to-do list as the end of the year approached, with a series of measures that needed action before 2013 began. Some of the items passed (a fiscal agreement, a temporary farm bill), while others didn’t (relief funding for victims of Hurricane Sandy).
And then there’s the Violence Against Women Act, which was supposed to be one of the year’s easy ones. It wasn’t.
Back in April, the Senate approved VAWA reauthorization fairly easily, with a 68 to 31 vote. The bill was co-written by a liberal Democrat (Vermont’s Pat Leahy) and a conservative Republican (Idaho’s Mike Crapo), and seemed on track to be reauthorized without much of a fuss, just as it was in 2000 and 2005.
But House Republicans insisted the bill is too supportive of immigrants, the LGBT community, and Native Americans — and they’d rather let the law expire than approve a slightly expanded proposal. Vice President Biden, who helped write the original law, tried to persuade House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) to keep the law alive, but the efforts didn’t go anywhere.
And so, for the first time since 1994, the Violence Against Women Act is no more.
If you were to listen to the usual suspects you would think the Republicans just legalized domestic violence. But believe it or not domestic violence is still illegal in all 57 states. As a matter of fact, domestic violence is normally not a federal offense anyway, just like rape, robbery and murder are not.
The Violence Against Women Act is the kind of legislation the Democrats love. It gives them a chance to hand out some federal largesse and with a name like that it’s political suicide to oppose it. Heads we win, tails they lose.
I’m not saying it’s a bad law. There are definitely some worthy parts to it. But instead of breaking it into pieces and voting on them individually VAWA is a bundle of a bunch of different stuff and the GOP has to take it or leave it as-is. This most recent “reauthorization” also includes some new stuff that wasn’t in the original act.
The act dishes out about $500 million dollars a year – about equal to what we lost on Solyndra. As the Vile Progs assured us then, half a billion dollars ain’t that much money. It’s about 45 minutes worth of our annual federal spending.
I am firmly opposed to domestic violence but I also have a general objection to the creeping federalization of government. Every one of the thousands of federal grants and programs out there has a worthy purpose. They also have strings attached. And as the saying goes, “One man’s pork is another man’s dinner”.
Just because an act has a worthy purpose doesn’t mean it’s a worthy law. Nor does it mean that its necessary. Keep in mind who we’re talking about here: congresscritters. They can’t be trusted. Be especially wary when they make emotional appeals. They are trying to manipulate you.
Don’t let them.