The act's current price tag is about $660-million a year. That pays for legal assistance for domestic violence victims, financial support for local law enforcement's domestic violence enforcement and transitional housing for victims, among other things.
Senator Claire McCaskill (MO-R) supports the renewal. "Let's make sure that those women have some place to turn to, their children have someplace to turn to. Let's reauthorize this act today. And make sure that all the women out there have that help and assistance they need in their time of need."
The Act was originally signed into law in 1994 and renewed in 2000 and 2005. The renewal is now in the hands of U.S. House, where some Republicans are raising concerns about gay-rights language in the bill.
McCaskill says that shouldn't matter, because the bill authorizes funding for important services for victims of domestic violence.
"So let's move forward. Let's make sure that the victim advocates that arrive on the scene as a result of this important piece of legislation...let's make sure they stay on the job."
Read the full text of the Violence Against Women Act, pending in the U.S. House.