Why Democrats’ political ploys shouldn’t stop Republicans from standing up for taxpayers on VAWA

posted at 4:50 pm on March 16, 2012 by Tina Korbe

In an obvious attempt to advance the “Republican war on women” narrative, Democrats have picked a fight with their congressional opponents over the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

While Republicans want to use the reauthorization process to ensure that VAWA works as it was intended to work, Democrats want to use the process for political gain. To that end, the Democrat-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill out of committee that excludes Republican measures to reduce fraud but includes other new and controversial provisions. Let’s call this new version of VAWA “the Leahy bill” after its sponsor, Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont. No. 3 Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer promises to “fast-track” the Leahy bill to the floor, knowing that Republicans will object to it as they never would have objected to a straight reauthorization of VAWA.

Republicans know they run a political risk if they oppose the reauthorization of a widely popular bill that has enjoyed bipartisan support since its passage in 1994. So, it follows that they must have decent reasons to oppose it, right?

In fact, they do — and the No. 1 reason is that they want VAWA grant funds to actually go to victims of domestic violence, which is not always the case today. It is concern for women and for all victims of domestic violence that motivates Republican opposition to the reauthorization of VAWA — not any kind of nefarious, perfidious agenda against women.

Let’s consider two of the provisions included in the bill today that weren’t in it in 1994 or in subsequent reauthorizations. VAWA right now provides for 10,000 U-visas, which are available to immigrants who are likely to aid in certain criminal law investigations. Senate Republican background information illuminates the potential for fraud inherent in the way U-visas are currently granted:

  • The purpose of the U-visa is to aid law enforcement in investigations.  Immigrants who are here illegally as well as immigrants who are not in the country may apply for a U-visa.  There is no requirement that the U-visa recipient actually aid in an investigation or that there even be investigation underway.  The immigrant may stay here for 4 years under a U-visa.  After 3 years, a U-visa recipient may apply for an adjustment of status and become a legal permanent resident.  This creates a breeding ground for fraud because illegal immigrants that are currently in deportation proceedings may apply for a U-visa with intention of actually aiding law enforcement.
  • The Leahy bill creates 5K more U-visas annually, but lacks needed provisions to ensure that the purpose of the visa is fulfilled.

Until Congress confirms that the 10,000 U-visas granted annually already actually do aid law enforcement, how does providing for more visas do anything to combat domestic violence?

Note that opposing an increase in the number of U-visas available does not amount to objecting to visa access for illegal immigrants who have been victims of domestic violence. In fact, while the Judiciary Committee considered the bill, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa proposed an amendment that would have ensured recipients of the U-visas actually do aid in law enforcement proceedings. The amendment would have required that the crime on which the visa is based be reported within 60 days of its occurrence, that the statute of limitations has not run on the crime and that the crime be under active investigation or prosecution. Democrats rejected the Grassley amendment. Why wouldn’t Democrats want to ensure the U-visas go to the immigrants for whom they’re intended?

Here’s background information about a second troubling provision in the Leahy bill:

  • In a dramatic break from legal precedent, the Leahy bill gave criminal jurisdiction over non-Indian individuals to Indian Tribes.
  • A hearing was never held on this provision, so the consequences of such a drastic measure are unknown.
  • While the bill’s jurisdiction is limited to domestic violence offenses, once such an extension of jurisdiction is established, there would be no principled reason not to extend it to other offenses as well.
  • A non-Indian subject to tribal jurisdiction would enjoy few meaningful civil-rights protections.  Courts have held, for example, that tribal governments are not bound by the Constitution’s First, Fifth, or Fourteenth Amendments.
Again, these are provisions that weren’t in the original version of VAWA, which makes it easy to believe Grassley when he says, “If we had just a straight reauthorization, it would pass 100 percent.”
It’s not just that Democrats have inserted new provisions, though. It’s also that they refuse to consider measures that would ensure VAWA funds are used to protect victims of domestic violence. Consider:
  • In July 2010, the Office of the Inspector General of the Justice Department audited the Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. in Wilmington, Delaware, which received a Legal Assistance for Victims grant in the amount of $891,422. That audit resulted in the questioning of the use of 93 percent of those funds.
  • Similarly, a September 2005 audit of Legal Aid of Nebraska questioned the use of 64.5 percent of a $1,981,552 grant.
  • Most of the grantees audited by the DOJ/OIG in 2010 were found to have used some grant funds questionably and had often failed to properly document their use of the funds (21 out of 22 grantees audited).

Grassley’s amendment would have required the DOJ/OIG to audit 10 percent of all grantees annually and would have discontinued funds to grantees that used the funds for unallowable purposes. Democrats opposed that provision, as well.

Democrats not only show an enormous disregard for taxpayers by failing to even consider new oversight measures, but they also show an enormous disregard for the victims of domestic violence. That they would play politics with this bill is appalling.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Schuck Fumer.

SirGawain on March 16, 2012 at 4:51 PM

The Republicans are damned if they do and damned if they don’t…

sandee on March 16, 2012 at 4:58 PM

That they would play politics with this bill is appalling.

….and totally expected

burrata on March 16, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Both sides pass laws and amend laws for the sole purpose of “gotcha-ing” the other side in political ads. And then we wonder why we end up with a bunch of sh*t laws that break more stuff than they fix.

gravityman on March 16, 2012 at 5:00 PM

VAWA rates a picture and Texas doesn’t? We see whats important to you.

The House may have to guts to get it done in committee.

cozmo on March 16, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Just to be clear, Democrats have all but announced that they are cynically using women in this ploy?

forest on March 16, 2012 at 5:01 PM

By the time this regime is done, they will have money passing from so many pockets to so many hands, we won’t even see it being passed. What will they do when the faucet runs dry?

Kissmygrits on March 16, 2012 at 5:03 PM

sandee on March 16, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Then I say be damned on principle!

ThePrez on March 16, 2012 at 5:03 PM

That they would play politics with this bill is appalling standard operating procedure.
FIFY

ConservativeinCO on March 16, 2012 at 5:04 PM

That anyone would be this transparently political with reckless disregard for anything that would actually help women is not surprising. It just goes to show how sick these people really are.

First class pr*cks..

DevilsPrinciple on March 16, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Why does this need to be reauthorized anyway? Was there a thought that maybe in another 5 yrs domestic violence would go away? No? Well, authorize it again and cross your fingers!

ThePrez on March 16, 2012 at 5:05 PM

What woman in God’s great creation would want to mate with this thing? Even Miss Mc Cain would not get dickly over this abomination.

celtic warrior on March 16, 2012 at 5:07 PM

I don’t suppose there is a way in he!! that the r’s will do the right thing on this? Why in the name of gosh do the r’s let these slug slime get away with this time after time? Are the r’s so afraid of bhopress they will act like a whipped pup? I guess I have to answer my question, YES they are whipped and will wonder when we sling their hind ends out in Nov., WHAT happened?
L

letget on March 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM

What woman in God’s great creation would want to mate with this thing? Even Miss McCain would not get dickly over this abomination.

celtic warrior on March 16, 2012 at 5:07 PM

The thing has money. In fact, the thing has your money.

Archivarix on March 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I only wish Progressives fought the war on terror as virulently as they fight the fake war on women…

Strike Hornet on March 16, 2012 at 5:13 PM

What will they do when the faucet runs dry?

Kissmygrits on March 16, 2012 at 5:03 PM

They’ll blame us naturally, like always. Lying ba*tards, all of ‘em. (dems)

Tim Zank on March 16, 2012 at 5:14 PM

This is what the Democrats are going to be running on. They think it’s a winning strategy.With the media we have it’s hard to get our message out. Yes blogs and Conservative writers and talk radio helps a bit, but I fear not enough. The Media is in full court press against the Republicans and are doing everything they can to insure an Obama win…

sandee on March 16, 2012 at 5:17 PM

VAWA was and is a joke – it doesn’t do much at all to combat what it’s supposed to; instead, like most liberal-approved legislation, it benefits favored groups at the expense of taxpaying Americans.

VAWA shouldn’t be reauthorized. It’s high time Republicans started standing on principle but alas, this won’t be the day. (And neither will any day in the future, I fear.)

Aquarian on March 16, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Is that Chucky standing next to Chuck You?

Resist We Much on March 16, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Following this logic,
The GOP should should introduce a budget bill called: Violence Against Cute Puppies Act… because who wants violence against cute puppies?

mjbrooks3 on March 16, 2012 at 5:23 PM

So this would be the issue going into the election? Not the economy. Not the wars. Not energy mismanagement. Is this a winner to carry the GOP into the election? Pfffttt…The GOP would once again let the DNC pick the battlefield because the bait is just too juicy. No, doubt it makes sense to “do the right thing” and stand firm when it counts but you have to pick your battles if you’re going to win the war. America won’t unite around this, the details are too dull. They’re worried about paying bills. And Republicans are worried about what????

This is another wedge issue meant to distract and divide. Democtats = Debt, Decline, Defeat.

rhombus on March 16, 2012 at 5:25 PM

Debbie Stabnow, in the picture…

More than two years after her husband was busted for paying a prostitute $150 for sex at a Troy hotel, U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s divorce was made final on May 28 [2010], according to court papers in Eaton County.

[Tom] Athans was stopped by Troy police on Feb. 26, 2008, after he was seen leaving the Residence Inn in Troy. Police had the woman under surveillance at the hotel for suspected prostitution.

Athans, 46 at the time, was not charged with soliciting and testified against the 21-year-old Westland woman. The woman was sentenced to probation on a charge of misdemeanor trespassing.

SouthernGent on March 16, 2012 at 5:30 PM

It doesn’t matter if the GOP has good reason to oppose the bill. The MSM coverage of it will be “another reason why Republicans hate women” nonsense and how they don’t care if women get the crap beat out of them. It’s all so nauseating.

KateNE on March 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

and, per usual, this is where the country gets the shaft because of the monolithic leftist press that will destroy anyone not aligned with the Left Machine

r keller on March 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

Stand up to them. Rub their faces in the facts, especially the documented fraud they won’t address. Make the legacy media eat themselves. They should all be made to feel like Solenoid O’Brien felt after she got exposed.

Not all women are liberal democrats with agendas and those that are will get tired of being called liars eventually.

DanMan on March 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

VAWA was and is a joke – it doesn’t do much at all to combat what it’s supposed to; instead, like most liberal-approved legislation, it benefits favored groups at the expense of taxpaying Americans.

Aquarian on March 16, 2012 at 5:20 PM

Not only does VAWA help favored groups that liberals love, but if the law was really focused on ending Domestic violence, it would also help male victims of domestic violence.

Feminists not concerned about stopping domestic violence or helping victims. They’re concerned about advancing their liberal views of women’s rights.

Conservative Samizdat on March 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

This is the oldest trick in the Dem. playbook, because they can count on the media to perpetrate their meme.

Jackalope on March 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Republicans know they run a political risk if they oppose the reauthorization of a widely popular bill that has enjoyed bipartisan support since its passage in 1994. So, it follows that they must have decent reasons to oppose it, right?

The problem is that Republicans most of the time are so sucky at setting a narrative and instead rely on playing defense.

whatcat on March 16, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Democrats are just evil.

darwin on March 16, 2012 at 5:51 PM

If the bill has yet to reach the House, these provisions can be stripped there; and a bare bill can be returned. It depends on the courage of Boehner (which unfortunately is problematical).

FirelandsO3 on March 16, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Not only does VAWA help favored groups that liberals love, but if the law was really focused on ending Domestic violence, it would also help male victims of domestic violence.

Feminists not concerned about stopping domestic violence or helping victims. They’re concerned about advancing their liberal views of women’s rights.

Conservative Samizdat on March 16, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Yep, the liberal view that women are both helpless and powerful/superior – at the same time.

If I recall, Ed (or one of the other authors here) said in an earlier article that the Obama administration/campaign (is there a qualitative difference?) was banking on women being too stupid to see through the smoke regarding the recent contraceptive “access” debacle. Given the way things’ve been going so far and now this nonsense I’m inclined to say Obama and his ilk will be laughing all the way to the bank. (A bank filled, of course, with the money of taxpaying citizens.)

Not all women are liberal democrats with agendas and those that are will get tired of being called liars eventually.

DanMan on March 16, 2012 at 5:36 PM

The Left’s plan doesn’t require all women to be libs – it just requires ‘em to either be gullible/feeble-minded enough to accept the **** being shoveled down their throats or complacent/indifferent enough to stand up and make a difference. Given this formulation, do you really see their plan failing?

Aquarian on March 16, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Why Democrats’ political ploys shouldn’t stop Republicans from standing up for taxpayers on VAWA

I laughed my ass off when I saw this title.

LOL – Establishment GOP don’t stand up to nobody except it’s own grassroots voters. That’s the only people establishment GOP gives the middle finger to.

Democrats? Establishment GOP are EUNUCHS when it comes to dealing with Democrats.

HondaV65 on March 16, 2012 at 6:10 PM

We need to think about this entire year of nonsense, and not let it get to us.

The republicans need to write their own bill and pay to get it in the news.

Fleuries on March 16, 2012 at 6:15 PM

OT:

BREAKING NEWS: Military sources identify the suspect in the shooting deaths of 16 Afghan civilians as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales.

SD Tom on March 16, 2012 at 6:25 PM

Seeing crap like this do you people really think dimoturds are much more than cockroaches? Really? How? They constantly prove that they will eff over anyone, and lie about it, to score their feeble little points. Maybe the next time Obastard apologists come around they can tell everyone why it is they hate women and want to subjegate them to violence.

Makes one wonder what people in this country would really think if they actually paid attention and if we actually had a real press in this country that actually reported p***y moves like this.

bbinfl on March 16, 2012 at 6:42 PM

In an obvious attempt to advance the “Republican Democrat war on women” narrative reality, Democrats have picked a fight with their congressional opponents over the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

Fixed

Bitter Clinger on March 16, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Democrats play with people’s lives (and taxpayer’s money) yet again…and the chances are that they’ll win AGAIN, aided and abetted by their cronies in the press who will lie, lie and lie again to create another “Republican war on women” meme.

And the worst of it is that no one in the GOP leadership right now is media savvy enough to fight back- when was the last time a prominent Republican put himself out there in the press and on TV shows and shot down the Democrat’s out-and-out lies with simple, clearly stated facts?

For a few weeks now we’ve been bombarded with “war on women” rhetoric- a return to the Dark Ages, etc, etc. How many Republicans cut through all the BS and just said, “All we want is a return to January 2012- and an end to an unconscionable attack on 1st Amendment guaranteed freedom of religion.”

It would maybe help if some of them also pointed out that if a Democrat government can tell religious organisations and health insurers what to do, then so can the next Republican government.

Hey Libs, with all your fears of a Rethuglican Theocracy do you really want to set a precedent like this? Really?

Jay Mac on March 16, 2012 at 8:43 PM

How is the VAWA even constitutional? Whatever happened to “equal protection under the law”? The VAWA elevates a group of victims above another. What difference does it make if violence is perpetrated against a woman or a man? The violence is the same.

Mitoch55 on March 16, 2012 at 8:49 PM

The Republican-controlled House should introduce a new bill that is word-for-word exact to the current law, with the anti-fraud measure attached, and pass it immediately.

Then publicize that while the Dems want to beat up the law that was to be used to protect beaten women, Republicans have passed up a bill for that focuses on the victim, not the political whores hoping to fill their campaign coffers.

dominigan on March 16, 2012 at 9:07 PM

How is the VAWA even constitutional? Whatever happened to “equal protection under the law”? The VAWA elevates a group of victims above another. What difference does it make if violence is perpetrated against a woman or a man? The violence is the same.

Mitoch55 on March 16, 2012 at 8:49 PM

Yes, there is that.

Unfortunately, any resemblance to equality under the law went out the window a long time ago. In my mind, Obamacare waivers are the worst form of it. Pass a law, and then (illegally) pass out exemptions to your supporters.

dominigan on March 16, 2012 at 9:09 PM

So! There’s a picture of Stabby and Stupid to start the thread…and their illegitimate grandchild can’t even come in to post? I hurt for your illegitimate grandparents lobotomy4life!

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2012 at 9:27 PM

The Republican-controlled House should introduce a new bill that is word-for-word exact to the current law, with the anti-fraud measure attached, and pass it immediately.

Then publicize that while the Dems want to beat up the law that was to be used to protect beaten women, Republicans have passed up a bill for that focuses on the victim, not the political whores hoping to fill their campaign coffers.

dominigan on March 16, 2012 at 9:07 PM

Perfect- a simple, straightforward solution to the problem…and therefore one that the GOP will never, ever think of.

The Republican leadership is woefully ignorant of how to combat Democrats. They need a new leader who can think quickly and take decisive action- and isn’t afraid of actually fighting back against this Democrat nonsense.

Take for example the word coming out of Washington that Boehner is pushing to let Holder et al slide on Gunwalker.

Stay tuned to Sipsey Street Irregulars and War On Guns for details.

Holder’s already committed perjury, blatantly lying about when he knew about the project- and the GOP is still not making this a huge issue. A few hundred Mexicans killed, a Border Patrol agent murdered and a government approved plan to funnel guns into the hands of drug cartels for the express purpose of advancing their anti-gun agenda in America- why is this not the scandal of the century? Why is the GOP not pushing this every single day? Why have people not already been sacked and charged over a program that covertly sent guns across the border into a sovereign nation- apparently without the knowledge of a single senior person in the Obama administration? At the very least, the GOP should be hammering Obama about the ATF gone wild under his watch.

Frankly, it makes me sick to watch the GOP being so passive on these issues. Either they are too spineless to stand up and fight or they’re too concerned with maintaining the equilibrium. I wish to goodness Sarah Palin had run this cycle- Washington badly needs someone to go in there who isn’t afraid to kick some tables over and try to drain the cesspool that DC has become. When Mitt Romney was asked if Holder should resign (not face criminal charges mind you, just resign) he dodged the question.

It’s apt that this is about VAWA- the GOP reminds me of those abused women who keep getting beaten up by their partners, and who keep going back for more, refusing to stand up for themselves and press charges, hoping that someday, somehow the men will change and start treating them nice.

Jay Mac on March 17, 2012 at 7:38 AM

I was hoping Harry Reid would lose in Nevada, last election, so Chuckie Schumer could be the face of the Democrats in the Senate. He is little more than a partisan hack and the Republicans, if they have any messaging at all, can take his plan and run with it all the way to control the Senate in 2013. There is no vote to control the deficit, increase our energy supplies, bring new jobs to the states, or pass a budget in the United States Senate. ALl Schumer has here are a series of votes, all of which he doesn’t care if they pass or not, to put Republicans on the record as opposing something. Well, if the Republicans are smart they will call him on every one of these votes and start asking every single day, where’s the budget. Let’s put all of these bills in a budget and vote on them. The Democrats can’t pass a budget because they don’t want the House to have any control over the budget process for fear they’ll be forced to vote on some of that hidden Obamacare money.

bflat879 on March 17, 2012 at 1:18 PM