Violence Against Women Act extension included in stopgap spending deal



The audience at the Department of Interior reacts as President Barack Obama signs the Violence against Women Act, Thursday, March 7, 2013. (Pool/Dennis Brack/Black Star/MCT)

The Violence Against Women Act, which was set to expire Sept. 30, will be extended through Dec. 7 under a stopgap spending bill released Thursday.
“Any program, authority or provision, including any pilot program, authorized under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 shall continue in effect through the date specified,” the bill text reads.
The short-term continuing resolution will provide funding to keep the government operating through Dec. 7 as Congress continues work on the fiscal 2019 appropriations bills.
Earlier Thursday, Rep. Elise Stefanik, a New York Republican, filed legislation that would extend the current Violence Against Women Act for six months and give lawmakers more time to negotiate potential changes.
Congress first passed the landmark domestic violence law in 1993 and most recently reauthorized it in 2013.
A reauthorization proposal, introduced by Democrats in July, includes provisions to help victims of domestic violence and stalking stay in stable housing situations and to bar evictions based on the actions of an abuser. It also includes an expansion of gun control laws aimed at prohibiting persons convicted of dating violence and stalking and those under protective orders from possessing firearms. Some states already have so-called red flag laws in place, with the aim of preventing escalation of violence.
Neither chamber has taken action on the new Violence Against Women Act reauthorization proposal yet.
Earlier this week, 46 House Republicans called on Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to bring a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act to the floor before its Sept. 30 expiry date.