Congress passes more expansive Violence Against Women Act

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Congress approved an extension of the Violence Against Women Act backed by an array of Jewish groups.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved the Senate version of the bill after it had rejected a Republican rewrite that omitted the Senate’s new protections for undocumented immigrants, the LGBT community and Native American women.

In both Houses, the bill was passed with the assistance of some Republicans who defected from the party line. In the House, passage was facilitated by the decision of Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) to allow the Democratic-led Senate’s version to reach the floor after the Republican version was defeated 257-166.

The House passed the Senate version 286-138, with 89 Republicans joining the majority.

Of the Jewish members of Congress, only Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), the House majority leader, voted against it.

Among the Jewish groups backing the more expansive version were the Jewish Federations of North America, the National Council of Jewish Women, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Hadassah, B’nai B’rith International, Bend the Arc, the Reform movement and Jewish Women International.

President Obama said he would sign the act, which authorizes $660 million in funding over the next five years.

 
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