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#TrumpShutdown Victim: Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which provides funding for programs to help victims of sexual assault, domestic abuse and stalking, as of now is a victim of President Trump's demand for his wall.

Passed in 1994, the law's programs are funded by the Justice Department, which is one of the many government agencies affected by the #TrumpShutdown. It had been passed after Anita Hill testified against Clarence Thomas during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings and expired three months after Christine Blasey Ford testified against nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh, saying he sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.

According to this Washington Post report, grants already awarded under the law will not be affected, but the shutdown will delay program payments. Two separate funding bills, one approved by the House and the other by the Senate, would have extended the law until Feb. 8. However, those bills were not passed over the wall stalemate.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had criticized Republicans for only including a short-term reauthorization in a must-pass spending bill in September, calling it "nothing short of an abdication of our responsibilities to women in our country."

In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WS), Pelosi said, "We urge Republicans to end their assault on the rights and safety of women, and immediately begin working with Democrats to pass the VAWA Reauthorization Act swiftly and on a bipartisan basis."

"Democrats' support for keeping government open does not diminish our resolve to ensure that a strong, long-term reauthorization be passed immediately," Pelosi wrote. Meanwhile, a group of 46 Republicans had urged leaders to bring a bill reauthorizing the law to the floor for a vote.

Unfortunately, none of this happened and the VAWA was left to expire. On Twitter, Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA) said expiration of the VAWA means access to "vital services" for survivors will be restricted until the law is extended.

That is not expected to happen until next year, assuming that the new Democratic-controlled House of Representatives acts quickly after it takes over January 3.

#PresidentTrump #TheWall #TrumpShutdown #ViolenceAgainstWomenAct #RepNancyPelosi #BrettKavanaugh #ClarenceThomas

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