Saturday, February 16, 2013

WATCH: Rep. Kirkpatrick Speaking Out For Violence Against Women Act, Importance Of Indian Nations

Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) took to the airwaves and to the House floor this week to speak out in favor of the Violence Against Women Act ("VAWA") that was reauthorized by the U.S. Senate this week on a 78-22 vote (Arizona Senators Flake and McCain both voted "aye").

The VAWA is facing tougher sledding in the GOP-controlled House, where the major expressed concern is a new section that would allow Native American Nations to prosecute non-Native Americans who attack women on tribal lands.  To date, that has been a loophole that has left some cases in what should be - in more ways than one - a "no man's land".

Kirkpatrick's district makes up much of the eastern half of Arizona and contains a high percentage of sovereign tribal lands.  Thus, she has been particularly outspoken on this issue.  Early in the week, she joined a group of House Democrats in calling for their colleagues on the other side of the aisle to take up the bill.

On Friday, she took to the House floor to connect the issue to the looming sequestration cuts.  House Democrats were protesting that the GOP was recessing for a week when they should be trying to prevent the across-the-board cuts from going into place.

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