Washington, D.C.– U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) called on Congress to vote on his legislation for a clean, bipartisan extension of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Instead, House Democrats held a vote today on legislation combining the extension of VAWA with partisan provisions to promote unproven methods of victim treatment, restrict tools used to prosecute domestic violence, and weaken religious liberty protections. Congressman Barr voted against politicizing the extension of VAWA.

“It is unfortunate that House Democrats chose to politicize the extension of the Violence Against Women Act,” said Congressman Barr. “I support and have cosponsored legislation during this session of Congress allowing for a clean extension of funding for critical programs included in the Violence Against Women Act to support domestic violence victims and bolster resources for law enforcement to prosecute domestic abuse and sex crimes.

“Today, I voted against House Democrats’ latest attempt to combine funding for essential Violence Against Women Act programs with controversial measures. Democrats allowed the Violence Against Women Act authorization to expire in 2019 after failing to achieve support in the Senate because they took this same approach. I support a clean, bipartisan reauthorization that does not use the most vulnerable to advance a political agenda.” Barr concluded.

Congressman Barr cosponsored legislation introduced by Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21) to extend VAWA through Fiscal Year 2022. A partial list of programs that would be reauthorized if Congressman Barr’s legislation was passed, is below:

  • Rural Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking
  • Grants to Combat Violent Crimes on Campuses
  • Federal Victim Assistance Reauthorization
  • Stalker Database
  • Grants to Combat Violence Against Women in Public and Assisted Housing

The Concerned Women for America, Family Policy Alliance, Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, and the Heritage Foundation all oppose the loaded Democrat extension of VAWA. Religious advocacy groups ranging from the Family Research Council to the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops are opposed to the House Democrat version of this bill as well.