The House of Representatives came to its senses and passed the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act today. That’s the one that includes extended protections for LGBT, immigrant, and Native American victims of domestic violence, which passed easily and with bipartisan support (save a couple dozen Republican men) in the Senate. House Republicans objected to a provision that would give Native American tribal courts the jurisdiction to prosecute non-Natives who commit abuse on reservations, closing a loophole that has allowed Native American women to experience abuse at double national rates.
After failing to reauthorize the bill last year — and for the first time since 1994 — House Majority Leader Eric Cantor proposed a counter plan earlier this month, which removed the LGBT-specific protections and watered down the Native American ones. It was rejected, with 60 Republicans voting against it. The AP is calling the renewal a “white flag” from the GOP, the third time this year that Democrats and moderates have teamed up against the party’s more conservative faction, after Sandy aid and the fiscal cliff. Still unclear is how VAWA became a partisan issue in the first place.