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Speaker John Boehner, Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Rep. Eric Cantor and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
More than six months after the Senate passed a bipartisan reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and five months after the House went ahead and passed its own, weakened, flawed version of the bill, we're still waiting. House Republicans have stuck by their bill and its exclusion or weakening of protections for undocumented immigrants, LGBT people and Native Americans. But could that change in the wake of an election in which women and Latinos were a major part of Republicans losing? In which voters in four states either passed marriage equality or refused to endorse inequality? In which American Indian voters and organizers gave the edge to a Democratic woman in a key Senate race?

The issues the Violence Against Women Act addresses are not going away just because House Republicans are blocking the bipartisan Senate bill. Domestic violence shelters say they're at risk of losing funding if the bill doesn't pass soon, while the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is still putting a strain on the ability of shelters and other domestic violence organizations in the northeast to help women get away from their abusers.

Huffington Post reports that, in the wake of the election, some Republicans may be softening. But to others, violence against women is irrelevant:

"I think you have to prioritize what's important right now," said Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), pointing to the so-called "fiscal cliff."

"I haven't thought about that in 60 or 90 days," added Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).

House Republican leadership, meanwhile, is still insisting on "compromise." (As in compromising the safety of the groups excluded from the House bill, I guess.)

Since the election, Republicans have been running around trying to figure out what went wrong and how they can fix it without actually changing their policies. Well, if they want to be able to make a credible effort to even begin to pretend to make a vague gesture at giving lip service to the idea that they aren't engaged in a war on women or that they aren't just about demonizing and punishing Latinos, this would be a great way to start. The Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act drew support from 15 Republicans, so at least for some Republicans, passing it wouldn't be a big shift. And 22 Republicans voted against the terrible House bill, so it's not like that's overwhelmingly popular. If they can't move this bill, they're not even bothering to pretend.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 09:09 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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