White House Threatens To Veto Watered Down Violence Against Women Act

Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL)

The White House has issued a veto threat (PDF) should the House version of the Violence Against Women Act reach the President’s desk.

In a statement just released, the administration said that the House version of the bill is unnacceptable. Sponsored by Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL), the House version removes the protections for marginalized communities, stripping out provisions that were passed in the Senate version of the bill.

According to the statement from the White House, the House bill “undermine[s] the core principles of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)”:

H.R. 4970 retreats from this forward progress by failing to include several critical provisions that are part of the Senate-passed VAWA reauthorization bill. For instance, H.R. 4970 fails to provide for concurrent special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction by tribal authorities over non-Indians, and omits clarification of tribal courts’ full civil jurisdiction regarding certain protection orders over non-Indians. […]

If the President is presented with H.R. 4970, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

The House version of VAWA would let abusers know that their victims called for help. It would also strip out the Senate’s protections for LGBT people and undocumented immigrants.