With the economy on the rocks, unemployment up to 7.9 percent again, 8.5 million more Americans outside the labor force now than there were in January 2009, and gas prices set to jump, the US Senate is placing its laserlike focus on … the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. S. 47 is up for a roll call vote on Monday.
The Violence Against Women Act is a well-intentioned, poorly drafted bill. While violence against women is criminal across the country under state law, the Violence Against Women Act makes it federal – and in the process, broadens it to include services for men and prisoners, spends money on areas that are already fully funded, and empowers tribal courts.
Leaving aside the merits of the bill, the Senate continues to focus on issues that are not high on the list of Americans’ priorities, rather than the economy. That is no surprise.