Former State Legislator: Shouldn’t Congress Call Witnesses Before Voting On VAWA?
By WAVE Editor
April 6, 2012
A woman who served in the Iowa state legislature writes the editor of the Des Moines Register to praise Senator Chuck Grassley, who put forward a substitute bill for the Violence Against Women Act:
I thank Senator Chuck Grassley for standing up for the people of Iowa when most Washington politicians just roll over and approve every big-spending bill that comes along. Now is the time for Congress to re-examine the costs and bureaucratic meddling of all legislation, and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) should be no exception. A recent editorial called on him to give “unconditional support”, but we don’t think any bill that costs the taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars should have “unconditional” support. Every appropriation should be reexamined so that it can be justified.
Sen. Grassley is right to demand answers to the Government Accountability Office’s statement that problems with VAWA “continue to exist” and Congress should examine examples of “misuse of federal money.” What is VAWA’s record of saving marriages versus demanding divorce and prosecution of the man even when the woman doesn’t want to prosecute him? Congress should have a hearing and listen to some witnesses whom VAWA centers have not helped.
VAWA needs an accurate definition of domestic violence. Is VAWA trying to criminalize every minor marital tiff and argument? It certainly is sex discriminatory to oppose violence only against women, but not men. Many questions need to be answered before VAWA is voted on.
The letter is from Kitty Rehberg, a retired Iowa state Senator.