, Muskogee, OK


March 12, 2013

Congress messed with a good thing

— Congress should be applauded and chastised for passing the Violence Against Women Act.

Congress deserves to take a bow for passing a bill that helps in the fight against violence against women.

The law provides funding for local organizations such as Women In Safe Home and for training for law enforcement to deal with domestic violence.

In many ways it was a no-brainer to pass.

VAWA has been around for years. It was first passed in 1994 and had been in force until the end of 2011.

Unfortunately, it was then that Congress began to stick its collective feet in its mouth by messing with a good thing.

It took more than one year to reauthorize a law that never should have been allowed to expire.

That’s because legislators began to add riders and provisions that made a good bill into a potentially bad law.

Legislators do that to try to hide sometimes controversial mandates in a bill that no legislator would be crazy enough to vote against.

When constituents see a bill labeled the Violence Against Women Act, they assume their legislators will vote yes.

Why would anyone vote against protections for domestic violence victims?

Legislators have to vote for bills as a whole and not the individual parts.

For instance, the bill that passed was held up last year partly because it included the expansion of jurisdiction of Native American courts.

That discussion delayed passage because some legislators did not want to pass a bill that included provisions that needed more investigation.

But many legislators voted for the bill because they did not want to become known as someone who had no empathy for domestic violence victims.

Congress deserves thanks for passing VAWA. It should learn to work on the topic at hand.

Text Only
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.