by ROB HOTAKAINEN AND SEAN COCKERHAM, Anchorage Daily News
After winning a fight just last week to preserve contraceptive health insurance coverage for women, Senate Democrats on Thursday battled conservative Republicans who say they don't want to expand an 18-year-old federal law that created a national strategy to prevent domestic violence against women.
While Democrats say they're shocked at any opposition to renewing the Violence Against Women Act, which passed in 1994 with bipartisan support, opponents are trying to block the legislation because, they say, they fear it would broaden American Indian tribal rights and has too many protections for gay and illegal immigrant victims of violence.
A bill to renew the law, introduced by Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and co-sponsored by Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last month on a 10-8 vote, without a single Republican voting in favor.
Via J'nene Solidarity Kay