It is my usual Sunday practice to write about what I felt was the biggest political story of the week just ended. As of this early writing (Thursday) I feel the biggest story is one that has been developing and will continue to develop. Instead, I have decided to spend today’s “ink” on the one I found the most disgusting.
Perhaps a little background about me will explain both my choice and degree of disgust. I spent about a decade on the Board of Directors of a non-profit dedicated to combating domestic violence and sexual assault. The last two of those years I chaired the Board. When I entered what I term Phase II of retirement early in 2020 I was term limited and decided to resign. I still believe in those causes and the resignation was to lessen the demands on my time, not due to any change in attitude.
On Wednesday the House passed the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act of 2021 (VAWA) by a vote of 244-172-14. Twenty-nine Republicans joined the 215 Democrats who voted aye with 14 members (10 Republicans and 4 Democrats) not voting. That’s an incredibly bipartisan vote by the standards of this House and I suppose I should be thankful for that. I’m not!
I will admit I don’t know why the 14 failed to come to work or cast a proxy vote but I’ll give them a pass for the purposes this article. My problem is with the 172 who voted against the bill. As with every renewal of the Act (first authored by then-Senator Joe Biden) there is a modification or two. It appears the one that most, if not all, of the 172 objected to was the plugging of the so-called “Boyfriend Loophole”. That provision makes it illegal for a non-spousal cohabitant with a domestic violence conviction to buy a gun.
Note this is someone who has been convicted of a domestic violence infraction. We are not talking about someone who is subject of rumors; we are talking about someone with a history of domestic violence that held up in an American court of law. My decade on that Board still leaves me well short of expert status on the topic but abusers often have a history and multiple victims. (One of the many aspects that make these offenses frustrating for both law enforcement and social workers.) If this bill becomes law with that provision intact it will save lives. Period.
America is a represented democracy. With a few exceptions due to small state populations, members of the House of Representatives represent about 750,000 constituents about half of whom are female. How is willingly putting their lives in danger representing their interests? The VAWA is the major source of funding for both law enforcement and social services/agencies to combat domestic violence.
As part of the “voter guide” function of this site here are the 172 nays.
Rick Aderholt, Mo Brooks, Jerry Carl, Barry Moore, Steven Palazzo, Gary Palmer and Mike Rogers of Alabama, Rick Allen, Andrew Clyde, Drew Ferguson, Marjorie-Taylor Greene, Jody Hice and Austin Scott of Georgia, Mark Amodei of Nevada, Kelly Armstrong of North Dakota, Jody Arrington, Brian Babin, Michael Burgess, Michael Cloud, Pat Fallon, Louie Gohmert, Tony Gonzales, Lance Gooden, Kay Granger, Ronny Jackson, Troy Nehls, August Pfluger, Chip Roy, Pete Sessions, Van Taylor, Beth Van Duyne, Randy Weber and Roger Williams of Texas, Don Bacon, Jeff Fortenberry of Adrian Smith of Nebraska, James Baird, Jim Banks, Larry Bucshon,
Trey Hollingsworth, Greg Pence, Victoria Spartz and Jackie Walorski of Indiana, Andy Barr, James Comer, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie and Harold Rogers of Kentucky, Cliff Bentz of Oregon, Jack Bergman, Bill Huizenga, Lisa McClain, John Moolenaar and Tim Walberg of Michigan, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Debbie Lesko and David Schweikert of Arizona, Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan, Kat Cammack, Byron Donalds, Neal Dunn, Scott Franklin, Matt Gaetz, Brain Mast, Bill Posey, John Rutherford, Gregory Steube, Michael Waltz and Daniel Webster of Florida, Dan Bishop, Ted Budd, Madison Cawthorn, Virginia Foxx, Richard Hudson, Patrick McHenry, Gregory Murphy and David Rouzer of North Carolina, Ken Buck, Lauren Boebert, Doug Lamborn of Colorado, Tim Burchett, Scott DesJarlais, Chuck Fleischmann, Al Green, Dianne Harschbarger, David Kustoff and John Rose of Tennessee, Ken Calvert. Mike Garcia, Doug LaMalfa, Kevin McCarthy, Tom McClintock, Devin Nunes, Jay Obernolte and Michelle Steel of California, Steve Chabot, Warren Davidson, Bob Gibbs, Bill Johnson, Jim Jordan, David Joyce, Robert Latta and Michael Turner of Ohio, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Ben Cline, Bob Good, Morgan Griffith and Robert Wittman of Virginia, Rick Crawford, French Hill, Bruce Westerman and Steve Womack of Arkansas, John Curtis, Blake Moore, Burgess Owens and Chris Stewart of Utah, Jeff Duncan, Nancy Mace, Ralph Norman, Tom Rice and William Timmons of South Carolina, Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach and Jim Hagerdorn of Minnesota, Ron Estes, Jake LaTurner and Tracey Mann of Kansas, Randy Feenstra and Ashley Hinson of Iowa, Scott Fitzgerald, Mike Gallagher, Glenn Grothman and Thomas Tiffany of Wisconsin, Russ Fulcher of Idaho, Andrew Garbarino, Elise Stefanik, Claudia Tenney and Lee Zeldin of New York, Garrett Graves, Clay Higgins, Mike Johnson and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, Sam Graves, Vicky Hartzler, Billy Long, Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason Smith and Ann Wagner of Missouri, Andy Harris of Maryland, Kevin Hern and Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, Yvette Herrell of New Mexico, Jamie Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Fred Keller, Mike Kelly, Daniel Meuser, Scott Perry, Guy Reschenthaler, Lloyd Smucker and Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania, Trent Kelly of Mississippi, Darin LaHood and Mary Miller of Illinois, David McKinley, Carol Miller and Alex Mooney of West Virginia along with Chris Smith of New Jersey.
Unless they choose to retire all 172 are up for reelection in 2022. The two best features of this site are that it is free and searchable. As you research who you will vote for in 2022 put the name of any incumbent seeking reelection to the House or Senate in the search box and simply read the results.
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