Senate heads toward vote on anti-violence act
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate on Tuesday is expected to put aside its partisan divisions to approve a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, a law credited with protecting millions of victims of domestic violence over its 20-year history.
Passage of the Senate bill on a strong bipartisan majority would shift the focus to the House, where Republican leaders say they are working to come up with their own version that could lead to a compromise with the Senate and perhaps restore the party's image among female voters who abandoned Republicans in the November election.
Last year the two chambers were unable to find common ground, with the House rejecting the more expansive Senate version, which specifies that services provided under the act would be available to gays and lesbians, immigrants and Native American women. The Senate bill, last year and again this year, also tackles the high rate of domestic violence on tribal lands by giving tribal courts powers to prosecute non-Indians who assault Indian women on reservations.
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