Earlier this year, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) led a Republican effort to block renewal of the Violence Against Women Act because he objected to the fact that the reauthorization bill includes certain protections for LGBT individuals, undocumented immigrants and Native Americans. Grassley said that he would abandon this effort last night, however — likely because the reauthorization now has the supermajority of supporters it needs to defeat a Republican filibuster. Nevertheless, the bill must still survive the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, where it faces a much rougher ride, before its longstanding protections for domestic violence victims can be continued.
In light of these recent Republican efforts to hold some domestic violence survivors hostage to block protections for others, formerGov. Mitt Romney’s campaign was recently asked whether he supports including the protections for gay people, undocumented immigrants and Native Americans or not. Team Romney would not answer the question:
Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for Mr. Romney, said in an e-mail, “Gov. Romney supports the Violence Against Women Act and hopes it can be reauthorized without turning it into a political football.” But she declined to specify which version he supported.
As Attorney General Eric Holder said yesterday, it is “inconceivable” that there is actually a debate over whether to protect domestic violence victims or not. It is equally inconceivable that anyone could deem some victims more worthy of protection than others. Romney, however, doesn’t seem willing to even go that far. He won’t even tell us which people caught in a horrific spiral of domestic violence deserve the law’s full protection against domestic violence.