As the Senate fast tracks the Violence Against Women Act, Democrats are targeting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor over his reported efforts to block the bill in the House.
In an new video, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee asks: "But what will Eric Cantor and Tea Party House Republicans do?" highlighting reports that Cantor, R-Va., was the one holding up reauthorization in the House.
On Monday, the Senate voted 85-8 to take up VAWA, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has said that the bill has the votes to pass out of the Senate. It's expected to pass by the end of the week with bipartisan support.
Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, even referenced House Republicans who have blocked it. “This is not and never should be a partisan political issue,” she said in a speech on the Senate floor. “This is an equal-opportunity crime that harms people regardless of their political affiliation, their profession or their status in life. It’s an issue that deserves bipartisan support.”
The bill was allowed to expire in September 2011, and stalled again last year because of House Republican objections to new provisions that expand protections for same-sex couples, illegal immigrants and Native American women. From the New York Times:
House Republican leaders are struggling for a way forward. On Tuesday, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House majority leader, will meet with Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, to try to compromise on the biggest sticking point, a provision that would allow American Indian women assaulted on reservations by non-Indians to go to tribal courts, which have no jurisdiction over assailants who do not live on Indian land.
“Our focus is on passing a bill that protects women and prosecutes offenders — that’s always been our goal,” Doug Heye, a Cantor spokesman, told the Times. “We have made clear that Dems last year were more interested in using this as a political issue against Republicans than finding a solution to the issues.”