The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

After allowing the Violence Against Women Act to expire for the first time since 1994, 87 Republicans joined with 199 Democrats to renew an expanded version of the law credited with reducing domestic violence by as much as 67 percent.

The bill now heads to President Obama, who has said he will sign it.

“Over more than two decades, this law has saved countless lives and transformed the way we treat victims of abuse,” the president said in a statement.

The bill authorizes about $659 million a year over five years to fund current programs that cover transitional housing, legal assistance, law enforcement training and hotlines that serve victims of domestic violence.

Republicans refused to hold a vote on the Senate’s bill during the 112th Congress because they objected to expanded protections for Native Americans, undocumented immigrants and LGBT Americans.  A handful of Tea Partiers have called the tribal protections “unconstitutional.”

The House Republican version of the law, which does not include new protections, was voted on first and lost 257-166.

A majority of Republicans, 138, voted against the Senate bill. This technically violates the GOP’s “Hastert Rule,” which requires a majority of the House majority to support any legislation brought to the floor.

According to The National Review Online, House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) held a closed-door meeting with his caucus to warn them that there would be a “civil war” in the party if the House did not allow a vote on the Senate’s bill. After said meeting, only nine Republicans voted against taking up the bill — included in those were nine were Tea Partiers Steve King (R-IA) and Paul Broun (R-GA), both likely candidates for the U.S. Senate in 2014.

“I applaud moderate Republican voices in the House who stood up to their leadership to demand a vote on the Senate bill,” Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a sponsor of the Senate bill that passed two weeks ago, said.

As we saw in the “fiscal cliff” compromise and the Hurricane Sandy relief bills, the “Hastert Rule” is all that stands between the House GOP and actual governance.

Much of the president’s agenda, including comprehensive immigration reform and some alternative to the sequestration, would likely pass the House if bills were brought to the floor instead of being effectively vetoed by Tea Party members and Republicans afraid of primary challenges.

But every time Speaker Boehner violates the rule, he weakens the value of the majority and threatens his own job.

So despite this success, the painful cuts of the sequestration will begin to go into effect Saturday morning.

“First, after 20 years of overwhelming bipartisan support, opposition to the Violence Against Women is now the mainstream Republican position,” MaddowBlog‘s Steve Benen wrote. “About half the Republicans in the Senate voted against the law, as did more than half the Republicans in the House.”

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Former President Bill Clinton leaves UCI Medical Center with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

CNBC screen shot

(Reuters) - Former U.S. President Bill Clinton walked out of a Southern California hospital early Sunday morning accompanied by his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, after being admitted last week for a urological infection, live video showed.

Clinton, 75, had been in California for an event for the Clinton Foundation and was treated at the University of California Irvine Medical Center's intensive care unit after suffering from fatigue and being admitted on Tuesday.

Keep reading... Show less

Trumpist rioters rampaging in the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

The federal judge overseeing the Oath Keepers conspiracy case in the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection ordered their trial delayed this week, primarily because of the overwhelming amount of evidence still being produced in their cases. Though the delay was expected, its reasons are stark reminders that January 6 will be one of the most complex prosecutions in history and that the investigation remains very active as more evidence piles up. There are likely some very big shoes still to drop.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}