Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks today at a press conference with Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Rules Committee Ranking Member Louise Slaughter, Congresswoman Gwen Moore and House Democrats on the reintroduction of the Violence Against Women Act. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
“Thank you very much Leader Pelosi and thank you for your leadership. I am very pleased to join Gwen Moore and one of the few males that is standing here with all these wonderful Members of Congress who are women – Chairman Conyers. I am proud to join in reintroducing the Violence Against Women Act in the 113th Congress.
“This is on the premise that although we had an opportunity in the 112th Congress, and - as the Leader has pointed out – in a bipartisan fashion the Senate acted, we failed to act. But it is never too late to do the right thing. This will give this Congress the opportunity to do the right thing, and do it in this Congress.
“Domestic violence prevention has always been an area where Democrats and Republicans work together. It is disappointing that we still haven’t sent a bill to the President’s desk to be signed when we could have passed a bipartisan Senate bill last year. But Democrats will continue to urge the Republican House Leadership to pass a bill that protects all victims of domestic violence and does more to prevent those crimes.
“This is not just a woman’s issue, this is not just a man’s issue, or a children’s issue. This is an issue of safety, this is an issue of security, this is an issue of health, this is an issue of family, solidarity, and security. This issue transcends any of the distinctions that are very important, but the common interests that we have in passing this bill is overwhelming.
“As a cosponsor of the original Violence Against Women Act in 1994, and as a father of 3 daughters, a grandfather of 2 granddaughters, and the great-grandfather of a great-granddaughter, this bill is therefore personal for me, but [also] personal for every American. Let’s get it done without delay.
“Unfortunately, we did pass a bill through the [House] but the problem with that bill was we excluded people from its coverage and its protection. I can’t believe there is any House member that is going to get up and say ‘there is somebody that lives in America that I do not believe ought to be protected from domestic violence.’ Let us hope that’s not the case.
"Let us pass this bill. Gwen Moore, John Conyers, thank you. Madam Leader, thank you. And ladies and gentleman, thank you very much for your leadership, your passion, your courage to get this bill done. Thank you very much.”