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Rubio votes against Violence Against Women Act hours before delivering GOP SOTU response

by Dara Kam | February 12th, 2013

Rubio practicing for his GOP response to the SOTU Tuesday

Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio voted against the Violence Against Women Act, just hours before delivering the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight.

The Senate easily passed the reauthorization of the 1994 law which expired in 2011, authorizing $659 million over five years in spending for domestic violence programs that include shelters, legal assistance and training for law enforcement officers.

Rubio objected to some portions of the act, which expanded services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims and includes a controversial provision allowing tribal courts to prosecute non-Indians accused of domestic violence on reservations.

Read Rubio’s statement on his “no” vote Tuesday after the jump.

I believe we should have re-authorized the existing Violence Against Women Act that has helped reduce the annual incidence of domestic violence by more than 50 percent, among other successes. I also continue supporting the work being done at the federal, state and local levels to combat domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. I specifically support such ideas as:

Authorizing programs in the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services to help prevent and reduce violence against women. The annual incidence of domestic violence has dropped more than 50 percent since VAWA became law.
Renewing previously successful programs that have helped law enforcement, prosecutors, and victim service providers keep victims safe and hold criminals accountable.
Consolidating 13 existing overlapping programs into 4 to reduce administrative costs and avoid duplication.
Including provisions that address the problem of untested sexual assault evidence that could be used to prosecute offenders and solve cold cases.

I was also proud to have cosponsored and voted for the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which was presented by Senator Patrick Leahy as an amendment today. This amendment is almost identical to the 2011 legislation of the same name which I also co-sponsored. I fully support this re-authorization of programs to combat modern day slavery both in the United States and abroad. This amendment promotes increased cooperation among federal agencies, supports the victim-centered approach to trafficking and promotes accountability by ensuring federal funds are used for their intended purposes. I wish we could have had a full debate on this bill separately and the issue of human trafficking, so that more attention could be focused on the problem of modern day slavery. But I was nonetheless proud to support this measure and hope it eventually becomes law.

Unfortunately, I could not support the final, entire legislation that contains new provisions that could have potentially adverse consequences. Specifically, this bill would mandate the diversion of a portion of funding from domestic violence programs to sexual assault programs, although there’s no evidence to suggest this shift will result in a greater number of convictions. These funding decisions should be left up to the state-based coalitions that understand local needs best, but instead this new legislation would put those decisions into the hands of distant Washington bureaucrats in the Department of Justice. Additionally, I have concerns regarding the conferring of criminal jurisdiction to some Indian tribal governments over all persons in Indian country, including non-Indians.

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9 Responses to “Rubio votes against Violence Against Women Act hours before delivering GOP SOTU response”

  1. Bill Says:

    What else would you expect from a right wing facist!

  2. jac Says:

    That is the GOP we all know.

  3. Good for him! Says:

    you mean up until now it was legal to beat women??? Man, I better do some whupping before this bill passes and someone might get me.

  4. Who Cares Says:

    According to “Bill” Rubio is a right wing facist…. You ever heard the statement “It takes one to know one”? Just sayin

  5. T. J. Ewing Says:

    Rubio, continuing the GOP/Teabagger parties war on women. He also voted against the equal pay for equal work act using the excuse that it would cost business money, thus lowering their profits by having to go to court to defend their justification for paying women less. This is the GOP “savior?” LMAO!!

  6. Gary Says:

    I read that Rubio’s parents were not citizens of the United States when he was born and so Rubio may not qualify to be President under the Constitution which requires that the President and Vice President be ” natural born” citizen. His parents may not have been subject to the jurisdiction of the United States at the time of birth. It is an issue of Constitutional interpretation that will need to be resolved. On the other, Rubio appears to be a career politician with underwelming academic credentials and no real private sector experience.

  7. SciGuy Says:

    Rubio is acting like most Cubans and other Latinos who think that women have their place – in the kitchen, having their children, and treating their man like a king. You can take the man out of Cuba, but you can’t take the Cuba out of Rubio. His provincial and dated thinking like that of the GOP are not what we need to listen to much less vote for in another election. “You’re goin to the moon, Alice!” (Jackie Gleason in “The Honeymooners” TV show)

  8. Searcher1 Says:

    Rubio talks a good game but his votes reveal a TEA PARTY ZEALOT. Is this how far the GOP is stooping to get back in the game? Sad, isn’t it…..

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