House Passes Version of Violence Against Women Act That Excludes LGBT Provisions

From The Metro Weekly:

Posted by Chris Geidner
May 16, 2012

The House — over White House opposition — today passed its version of the Violence Against Women Act on a 222-205 vote. Among the provisions excluded from the House bill that are a part of the Senate bill passed this past month are several affecting minority populations, including LGBT people.

In a statement, Vice President Joseph Biden said, “The House has passed a version of the Violence Against Women Act that will roll back critical provisions to help victims of abuse. I urge Congress to come together to pass a bipartisan measure that protects all victims. VAWA has been improved each time it’s been reauthorized, and this time should be no different.”

The House vote came after Politico reported that 13 “senators – all female – called for an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill, which garnered 68 votes in the Senate late last month. The lone Republican who signed on to the letter was Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.”

The White House has stated that, should the House version be presented to President Obama, his “senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

In a statement, Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese said, “Today, House Republicans put partisan politics above the well-being of victims of domestic abuse. It is unfortunate – though not surprising – that some lawmakers refuse to acknowledge the basic dignity and respect LGBT domestic violence victims deserve.”

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force executive director Rea Carey added in a statement, “The Violence Against Women Act passed by the Senate and supported by the White House is a model bill designed to meet the needs of all victims of domestic violence in the country. The House version coldly and unnecessarily puts people at risk at a time when they are most vulnerable.

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‘Desperate Greece smashed by austerity hammer’

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Cost of Greek exit from euro put at $1tn

From The Guardian UK:

UK government making urgent preparations to cope with the fallout of a possible Greek exit from the single currency

, and
The Guardian, Wednesday 16 May 2012

The British government is making urgent preparations to cope with the fallout of a possible Greek exit from the single currency, after the governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King, warned that Europe was “tearing itself apart”.

Reports from Athens that massive sums of money were being spirited out of the country intensified concern in London about the impact of a splintering of the eurozone on a UK economy that is stuck in double-dip recession. One estimate put the cost to the eurozone of Greece making a disorderly exit from the currency at $1tn, 5% of output.

Officials in the United States are also nervously watching the growing crisis: Barack Obama on Wednesday described it as a “headwind” that could threaten the fragile American recovery.

In a speech in Manchester before flying to the United States for a summit of G8 leaders, the British prime minister, David Cameron, will say the eurozone “either has to make up or it is looking at a potential breakup”, adding that the choice for Europe’s leaders cannot be long delayed.

“Either Europe has a committed, stable, successful eurozone with an effective firewall, well capitalised and regulated banks, a system of fiscal burden sharing, and supportive monetary policy across the eurozone, or we are in uncharted territory which carries huge risks for everybody.

“Whichever path is chosen, I am prepared to do whatever is necessary to protect this country and secure our economy and financial system.”

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GOH: Pizza is NOT a Vegetable!

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NOW Condemns House for Passage of H.R. 4970 Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

Now Press Release:

May 16, 2012

The National Organization for Women condemns today’s passage of H.R. 4970, the House Republican version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill. Sponsored by Representative Sandy Adams (R-Fla.), H.R. 4970 not only strips important provisions that were passed by a bipartisan Senate vote of 68-31, but also changes and weakens many initiatives and preventive provisions that have been included in VAWA by both Republicans and Democrats over the past 18 years.

Extremists in the House may resent being called out for their War on Women, but their atrocious bill is part and parcel of it — and women are not fooled by the attempts of H.R. 4970’s supporters to characterize serious policy differences as mere election year politicking. Proponents of the Adams bill seemed more interested in railing against Washington bureaucrats and claiming (without evidence) rampant fraud by immigrant women who have been battered and raped, than they were about the plight of victims in desperate need of services and legal protections.

Their bill most assuredly is not about victims. The bill fundamentally undermines VAWA’s 18-year history of victim-centered legislation by shielding perpetrators from accountability for their violent crimes, raising new hurdles to women escaping violent relationships, removing important college campus and housing improvements, rolling back provisions for culturally specific services currently in VAWA and turning its back on immigrant women and Native American and LGBT communities. Small wonder its proponents were not able to produce experts or professionals who support this bad bill.

Because the Adams bill undercuts previous VAWA provisions and stays silent on serving underserved communities, survivors and advocates understandably sense that House extremists are intent on abandoning victims because of their racial and legal status. And we are not afraid to state that this second-class treatment of victims of color smacks of willful ignorance of the problem and hostility toward the victims. Constituents no doubt will be reluctant to vote for representatives who claimed to support ending violence against women while voting for an exclusionary bill that ignores the biases and disrespect that certain victims face when seeking help from the criminal justice system and access to lifesaving services.

NOW has “scored” this vote, meaning the organization considers a vote for H.R. 4970 a vote against VAWA. The 222 representatives in the House who voted for this bill abandoned victims of violence and enabled abusers, and they will be judged in the public arena and at the polls in November.

For Immediate Release
Contact: Latoya Veal w. 202-628-8669, ext. 116, c. 301-660-3447

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Pompous Prevaricators of Power

From Common Dreams:

by Ralph Nader
Published on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 by Common Dreams

A friend who works in Congress and actually reads the Congressional Record suggested that a collection of excerpted falsehoods by Republicans on the floor of the House of Representatives and Senate would make compelling evidence for the truth of economist Albert Hirschman’s book, The Rhetoric of Reaction (1991).

Professor Hirschman, a very original political economist, found throughout American history the following three propositions were commonly used to counter social justice efforts:

The Perversity Thesis states government action only serves to exacerbate the problem being addressed;
The Futility Thesis holds that attempts at social policy will simply fail to solve the problem;
The Jeopardy Thesis argues that the cost of the proposed change or reform is too high and will lead to disaster.

The only people who know more about this sequential rhetoric than Mr. Hirschman are corporate lawyers and their corporate clients’ publicists. For over two hundred years they and their corporations have opposed virtually every advance for better and fairer lives of the American people using propaganda which fits into Hirschman’s frameworks. Whether it was the abolition of slavery, child labor, and the 70 hour week, or women’s right to vote, trade union rights, the progressive income tax, unemployment compensation, social security and, of course, the various regulatory standards protecting consumers, worker safety and the environment, the arguments against them have been pretty much the same.

As the fascinating “Cry Wolf Project” staff observed: “We’ve heard these all before. Perversity: if you raise the minimum wage, you’ll increase unemployment. Futility: tobacco warning labels won’t stop people from smoking. And Jeopardy: it’s a ‘job killer.’”

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TPP: Secret trade agreement expanding drug monopolies?

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