Rubio, Cruz, Paul, & Graham Abandoned Domestic Violence Victims

This week represents the 21st anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act, and few presidential candidates have a closer seat than Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Lindsey Graham. All four have voted against VAWA reauthorization and willfully turned their backs on victims of domestic violence.

Each of the four senators voted against a 2013 VAWA reauthorization that included protections for the LGBT community, as well as for Native American and immigrant populations. And Rubio, Paul, and Graham similarly abandoned domestic violence victims the previous year, voting in opposition to the 2012 VAWA expansion and reauthorization. Ted Cruz was still a figment of our imagination and hadn’t yet reached the Senate.

The senators-turned-failing-presidential candidates’ opposition to legislation that would expand protections for domestic violence victims comes as no surprise. They are not alone in their opposition — rather, they are run-of-the-mill members a party that has little regard for women’s issues. Be it equal pay, family leave, or Planned Parenthood funding, the Republican Party has a proven record of working in direct opposition to the interests of American women.

Background:

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES OPPOSED TO VAWA

Marco Rubio

2013

2013: Rubio Voted Against A Reauthorization Of The Violence Against Women Act That Included Protections For Immigrants, LGBT Populations And Native Americans. In February 2013, Rubio voted against the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which, according to Politico, “include[d] protections for illegal immigrants, Native Americans and people in same-sex relationships.” According to The Washington Post, “First authorized in 1994, the bill provides $660 million over the next five years for programs that provide legal assistance, transitional housing, counseling and support hotlines to victims of rape and domestic abuse.” The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 78 to 22. The house passed the Senate’s version of the bill February 28, 2013. The president signed the bill March 7, 2013 and it became Public Law 113-004. [Senate Vote 19, 2/12/13; Politico, 3/7/13; The Washington Post, 3/7/13; Public Law 113-004, 3/7/13]

2012

2012: Rubio Voted Against Reauthorizing The Violence Against Women Act. In April 2012, Rubio voted against the proposed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 (VAWA), which expanded the protections offered by the original 1994 Act and later extensions of it. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 68 to 31. A version of VAWA passed the House in May 2012, but the chambers were unable to reconcile their differing bills. [Senate Vote 87,4/26/12; All Congressional Actions, S.1925; All Congressional Actions, H.R. 4970]

Rand Paul

2013

2013: Paul Voted Against A Reauthorization Of The Violence Against Women Act That Included Protections For Immigrants, LGBT Populations And Native Americans. In February 2013, Paul voted against the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which, according to Politico, “include[d] protections for illegal immigrants, Native Americans and people in same-sex relationships.” According to The Washington Post, “First authorized in 1994, the bill provides $660 million over the next five years for programs that provide legal assistance, transitional housing, counseling and support hotlines to victims of rape and domestic abuse.” The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 78 to 22. The house passed the Senate’s version of the bill February 28, 2013. The president signed the bill March 7, 2013 and it became Public Law 113-004. [Senate Vote 19, 2/12/13; Politico, 3/7/13; The Washington Post, 3/7/13; Public Law 113-004, 3/7/13]

2012

2012: Paul Voted Against Reauthorizing The Violence Against Women Act. In April 2012, Paul voted against the proposed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 (VAWA), which expanded the protections offered by the original 1994 Act and later extensions of it. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 68 to 31. A version of VAWA passed the House in May 2012, but the chambers were unable to reconcile their differing bills. [Senate Vote 87,4/26/12; All Congressional Actions, S.1925; All Congressional Actions, H.R. 4970]

Lindsey Graham

2013

2013: Graham Voted Against A Reauthorization Of The Violence Against Women Act That Included Protections For Immigrants, LGBT Populations And Native Americans. In February 2013, Graham voted against the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which, according to Politico, “include[d] protections for illegal immigrants, Native Americans and people in same-sex relationships.” According to The Washington Post, “First authorized in 1994, the bill provides $660 million over the next five years for programs that provide legal assistance, transitional housing, counseling and support hotlines to victims of rape and domestic abuse.” The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 78 to 22. The house passed the Senate’s version of the bill February 28, 2013. The president signed the bill March 7, 2013 and it became Public Law 113-004. [Senate Vote 19, 2/12/13; Politico, 3/7/13; The Washington Post, 3/7/13; Public Law 113-004, 3/7/13]

2012

2012: Graham Voted Against Reauthorizing The Violence Against Women Act. In April 2012, Graham voted against the proposed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012 (VAWA), which expanded the protections offered by the original 1994 Act and later extensions of it. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 68 to 31. A version of VAWA passed the House in May 2012, but the chambers were unable to reconcile their differing bills. [Senate Vote 87, 4/26/12; All Congressional Actions, S.1925; All Congressional Actions, H.R. 4970]

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX)

2013: Cruz Voted Against A Reauthorization Of The Violence Against Women Act That Included Protections For Immigrants, LGBT Populations And Native Americans. In February 2013, Cruz voted against the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which, according to Politico, “include[d] protections for illegal immigrants, Native Americans and people in same-sex relationships.” According to The Washington Post, “First authorized in 1994, the bill provides $660 million over the next five years for programs that provide legal assistance, transitional housing, counseling and support hotlines to victims of rape and domestic abuse.” The Senate passed the measure by a vote of 78 to 22. The house passed the Senate’s version of the bill February 28, 2013. The president signed the bill March 7, 2013 and it became Public Law 113-004. [Senate Vote 19, 2/12/13; Politico, 3/7/13; The Washington Post, 3/7/13; Public Law 113-004, 3/7/13]