House GOP legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act got an unexpected endorsement Tuesday — one that Democrats couldn’t be happier with.
In a letter to all members, provided to TPM by Democratic aides, the president of the National Coalition for Men, wrote to endorse the House GOP’s VAWA bill over a Senate-passed counterpart that extends the laws protections to same-sex couples, immigrants, and native American women (you can read the full letter here):
“The House has the opportunity to pass H.R. 4970, a victim-centered VAWA reauthorization bill, endorsed by women and men. Those opposing H.R. 4970 loudly assert that VAWA serves all people, which is absurd on its face given the name of the Act. Opposing versions, by omission and lack of specificity, generally exclude men, particularly heterosexual men, regardless of specious arguments to the contrary.”
NCFM is an advocacy group dedicated to ending sex discrimination, particularly against men.
In an interview with TPM, NCFM president Harry Crouch elaborated on his group’s support for the GOP’s bill — which the White House has threatened to veto.
Crouch said the House bill meets his criteria that the Act should be gender inclusive.
“Basically whether you’re male or female makes no difference,” Crouch said. “If you’re abused we all bleed.”
The version Democrats support, he says, doesn’t protect male victims of violence. “if it was true why wouldn’t we call it the DV [Domestic Violence] prevention act?”
Neither the House nor the Senate bill, however, is meant to address NCFM’s other major complaint.
“People are getting arrested left and right,” Crouch said. He’d like the act to be amended to “mak[e] sure that those who are accused of violence don’t have their lives destroyed by false accusations.”
Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight, and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at email@example.com.