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Pelosi Remarks at Press Event Introducing the Bipartisan Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act

March 7, 2019

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Members of the House of Representatives for a press event to introduce the bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act – critical, long-term legislation that reaffirms protections for all women, men and children, and includes vital improvements to address gaps in current law.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Good afternoon, everyone.

Nearly 25 years ago, Congress enacted the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act – united our communities and our country in the fight against domestic violence in America.

Today, we’re honored to be with advocates and survivors to introduce a bipartisan, commonsense VAWA reauthorization that builds on this progress and saves lives.

The original co-sponsors – two of the co-sponsors, Representative Karen Bass and Representative Brian [Fitzpatrick] – we’ll be hearing from; thank you for the bipartisanship of it all.

And, many champions in Congress, including Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee who has worked so hard on this issue for such a very long time.  Thank you, Sheila Jackson Lee, for your leadership.

We’re pleased that this bill is being introduced, as I said, on a bipartisan basis.  There should be nothing partisan or political about ending the scourge of domestic violence and sexual assault, which one in three women face today.  One in three women.

We hope to receive more bipartisan support as the bill moves forward.

The bill preserves the vital progress that was made in the 2013 reauthorization to protect the LGBTQ community, Native American community and immigrant women.  That was part of the fight.  We couldn’t get the bill to the Floor because there was resistance to protect immigrant, LGBTQ and Native American women.

But, then we did a bipartisan bill in the Senate and then our bill in the House, and that brought us success.  And President Obama signed that in the presence of many from those communities.

And it builds on the progress of live-saving updates that reflect the voices of survivors and the input of experts – some of whom we’ll hear from today.

With this bill, we are empowering law enforcement and helping stop abusers and stalkers from obtaining firearms.  We’re supporting survivors with protections against discrimination in the workplace and unjust evictions.  And we are strengthening protections, again, for Native American women because every woman everywhere has the right to live free from abuse.

We urge all Members to join us in strong, bipartisan support for this bill.

And now, it is my privilege to – he was there 25 years ago when we passed the bill in the House then.  Some of us were involved with funding the legislation, following that.  And that continues.  Now, we have a champion for the bill – he is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Congressman Jerry Nadler.