Washington — The Senate on Thursday rejected a Republican proposal to prevent federal aid from being spent on immigrant, gay and Native American victims of domestic violence, the key objections that have so far help up Congressional reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
The Senate on Monday will again take up reauthorization of the measure, which expired at the end of 2011. The act, which Congress has reauthorized twice with bipartisan support since it was created in 1994, funds investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women.
This year’s attempt at reauthorization follows a partisan battle over the legislation last year, in which a Senate reauthorization bill failed in the Republican-led House. This year’s reauthorization bill would extend the act’s central provisions through 2018 while expanding services to groups that are not provided for in the existing legislation, including immigrants, same-sex couples and Native Americans.
A proposal Thursday from Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) would have removed those provisions, while adding mandatory minimum sentences and other harsher prosecutorial measures for some domestic crimes.