WASHINGTON -- The White House issued a press release on Tuesday threatening to veto the House GOP's version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, which the House is scheduled to vote on Wednesday afternoon.
"The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 4970, a bill that would undermine the core principles of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)," the White House wrote. "H.R. 4970 rolls back existing law and removes long-standing protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault -- crimes that predominately affect women. If the President is presented with H.R. 4970, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill."
The Senate recently passed a bipartisan VAWA bill that would extend protections to undocumented immigrant, Native American, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender victims of domestic violence. Rather than follow the Senate's lead, the House GOP leadership has focused on a pared-down version that does not extend protections to those groups and actually rolls back existing protections for immigrants who have been abused.
The White House also noted in its press release that the GOP version of VAWA "does not include important improvements to the Clery Act found in the Senate-passed bill that would address the high rates of dating violence and sexual assault" in schools and "weakens critical new provisions in the Senate-passed bill that would improve safety for victims living in subsidized housing."
House Republicans who support their leadership's bill argue that LGBT victims are already covered under U.S. domestic violence programs and that rolling back those protections for immigrant victims will crack down on fraud.