CQ TODAY ONLINE NEWS – LEGAL AFFAIRS
March 15, 2012 – 8:21 p.m.
Domestic Violence Bill Appears to Have Support for Senate Move, Backers Say
By Alan K. Ota, CQ Staff
Senate Democrats say they have enough bipartisan support to debate a bill to renew an 18-year-old domestic violence law despite GOP opposition that it lacks sufficient accountability measures, provides temporary visas to some undocumented workers and grants new authority for tribal courts.
But the Minnesota Democrat and her allies have only secured 59 votes to allow consideration of the bill, one short of the number needed. The measure has 59 supporters, but one of them, Republican
“There are some problems with it, but I want to try to fix them so that we can go forward on it,” Hutchison said.
Hutchison has voiced concern about a provision that would give tribal courts jurisdiction over cases and protective orders involving non-reservation residents. “There is an Indian reservation issue that our people are concerned would violate the Constitution for double jeopardy,” Hutchison said.
Democrats are framing the coming debate as the latest in a series of election year fights over women’s issues, including abortion and contraception, while Republicans say they want to delete or modify contentious provisions without opposing the bill’s main goals.
Two senior Democratic aides said Reid probably will move to take up the bipartisan reauthorization (
The measure would authorize federal spending to investigate cases of battered women in shelters.
Republicans want to restructure the Justice Department office that manages that funding and are challenging the expansion of tribal court authority and the provision that would give temporary visas to domestic violence victims who are undocumented workers.
Such disputes sparked heated debate over the measure in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which approved it on a party-line vote Feb. 7. Klobuchar has been working with a number of Republican allies such as