Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., ripped Democrats for what he and other Republicans see as an intentional effort to embarrass the GOP on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
Democrats are pushing a vote in the Senate to reauthorize the act to make it appear that Republicans are opposed to the program, McCain said on the Senate floor Thursday, The Hill
reports. "To suggest that one party speaks for all women is ridiculous. We don't need to accuse each other of not caring about half the population."
Some Republican senators oppose the Democratic bill because it would increase the deficit by widening access to U.S. visas for aliens who suffer domestic abuse. Republicans said that would add $105 million to the annual deficit.
McCain pointed out that that act has been reauthorized twice since 1994, once under Republican leadership and once under Democratic leadership. He also said some form of the bill will pass. "I don't think any points of disagreement are big enough to stop us from passing this. We're surely united to prevent violence against the innocent."
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, proposed an alternative bill that would maintain the current amount of visas available to aliens who need non-immigrant status to access the help of law enforcement authorities in domestic abuse cases.
Senate Democratic leaders said they are crafting amendments to their bill to satisfy a Republican request to strengthen language dealing with imprisonment of those committing domestic abuse.
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