Biden thumps GOP over Violence Against Women Act
By Ashley Killough
Washington (CNN) - Vice President Joe Biden targeted House Republicans on Friday in the fight to renew the normally-bipartisan Violence Against Woman Act.
Speaking at the Young Women's Christian Association conference in Washington, Biden accused the GOP of "scheming" in its opposition to the bill, trying to find a way to cut down the law without losing points with women voters.
"The other team, the other boy, other folks in Congress. This is not your father's Republican Party," Biden said to about 400 women in the audience. "The other team is taking on virtually every one of the initiatives you and I fought so hard to establish."
Biden initially co-authored the bill as a senator before it became law in 1994. The most recent version up for reauthorization expands the law's funding and protections for same-sex couples, immigrants and tribal communities.
Congressional Republicans, however, argue the new additions have been injected by Democrats hoping to pass legislation under the cloak of domestic violence issues.
"I regret there are competing versions," Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, said in late April. "Especially since I believe all of us support (the) current law."
Given the title of the act and the political risk associated with opposing it, Senate Republicans reluctantly backed down in their fight against the bill. It passed the Senate by a 68-31 vote last week and now heads to the House Judiciary Committee for a vote on Tuesday.
But House Republicans have said they're drafting a version that excludes some of the Democratic-backed provisions in the Senate version, a move likely to stir more controversy.
While Biden applauded the Senate for renewing the law, he pleaded with House Republicans to do the same.
"We shouldn't even be having the debate," the vice president said, arguing that VAWA typically passes re-authorization with ease. "If it's based on results, why are we even talking about this?"
The VAWA uproar represents the latest marker in what's become an ugly battle over the women's' vote this election year.
While Democrats have been eager to paint the GOP as anti-women," Republicans, notably its presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney, have repeatedly faulted President Barack Obama for major job losses among women since he took office.
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