WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Just hours ahead of stepping in front of the cameras to give the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address; Senator Marco Rubio voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
The VAWA passed the Senate, despite Rubio’s no vote, by a 78-22 margin. All 22 of those who voted against the reauthorization of the bill were men and included not only Rubio but also Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The original Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994, but expired in 2011 as Congress’ partisan divide grew. The bill seeks to help victims of domestic violence, stalking, and other crimes. The reauthorization added new protections for LGBT and Native American victims, according to the Huffington Post.
Overall, the VAWA had 62 co-sponsors in the Senate.
President Obama released a statement immediately upon passage of the bill praising the work of Senators across party lines and said the bill will “help reduce homicides that occur from domestic violence, improve the criminal justice response to rape and sexual assault, address the high rates of dating violence experienced by young women, and provide justice to the most vulnerable among us.”