Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
WASHINGTON Congressional efforts to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) remain stalled more than seven months after the House and Senate passed separate bills to reauthorize the Act. The impasse maybe weakening after Congressman Darrel Issa (R'CA), with co-sponsoring Native American Congressmen Tom Cole (R'OK), Mike Simpson (ID), and Patrick McHenry (NC) introduced HR6625, the Violence Against Indian Women Act of 2012.
HR6625 Violence Against Indian Women Bill
“We can't put Indian country on hold.”
Said Congressman Cole just moments ago at the tribal Leadership Conference.
The bill includes the tribal jurisdiction provision included in the Senate passed bill, with the addition of a removal provision to permit non-Natives suspects to take the case to federal court if they can show ICRA rights are being violated. The removal provision is to remove opposition by house opponents. The opponents to the tribal provisions claim that the provisions:
The sponsors, in addition to several other House Republicans, have also agreed to sign and send a letter to the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, urging him to negotiate a VAWA reauthorization that include Violence Against Indian Women provisions.
These events show strong support on the part of House Committee chairmen and leaders in the House Republican caucus for the Violence Against Indian Women provisions. If a deal is going to be made in the lame duck on VAWA, the HR6625 bill and the letter make a strong case that the tribal provisions should be included.
All Tribes are encouraged to continue contacting their federal delegation, urging them to co-sponsor HR 6625, issue press reports and other public relations materials about the importance of the tribal provisions, and conduct local grass roots efforts towards final passage with the tribal provisions intact.
All Native Americans are encouraged to contact their federal delegation, urging them to co-sponsor HR 6625.
posted December 4, 2012 12:30 pm est