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Tennessee Republican Rep. John
Speaker John Boehner has said that the House will do ... something about the Violence Against Women Act. While he'll only go so far as saying "I expect that the House will act in a timely fashion in some way," significantly, he isn't completely ruling out the idea of just holding a vote on the bill that passed the Senate on a bipartisan 78 to 22 vote. He'll have to get it past the extremists in his caucus, though, and, as a Chattanooga Times Free Press interview with Rep. John "Jimmy" Duncan Jr., Republican of Tennessee, reminds us, that could be a challenge even if Boehner really gave a damn. According to Duncan, "Violence Against Women Act" is just "another bill with a motherhood-and-apple-pie title," and you can't vote based on the title.

Actually, though, "Violence Against Women Act" is about as dry and straightforwardly descriptive name for the law as you can find. A manipulatively motherhood-and-apple-pie title for a bill that exists to protect women, mothers included, from violence might be the "Protecting Our Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, and Wives from Abuse Act." The "Keep America's Womenfolk Safe Act." It could be named after a few victims of particularly heinous crimes. There's all sorts of directions that could go. But "Violence Against Women Act"? That's just truth in labeling.

Don't get Duncan wrong. He's not saying he's in favor of violence against women. In fact, "Like most men, I'm more opposed to violence against women than even violence against men," he said. "Because most men can handle it a little better than a lot of women can." See! Totally opposed to violence against women, on account of they're weak. As long as, well, you know ...

"Last time my main concern was the money," said Duncan, who voted for the most recent renewal in 2005.
Oh, so as long as preventing violence against those wimpy women can be done on the cheap, he'll consider it. As it happens, the current bill includes less funding than the 2005 bill did, so Duncan will have to come up with another excuse if he wants to vote against it. Lucky for him, he can still fall back on opposing the Senate bill's expansion of protections for immigrants, Native Americans, and LGBT people. Plenty of his fellow House Republicans will be doing just that.

Sign the petition from Daily Kos and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee urging House Republicans to protect all women by passing the Senate version of the expanded, bipartisan Violence Against Women Act.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Three Star Kossacks and Daily Kos.

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