Let’s talk about the Violence Against Women Act. You may remember it from the time Al Franken got adorably choked up while debating it on the Senate floor, or the time it provided programs and services to victims of domestic violence for 18 years in a row. The bill is up for reauthorization right now, which one might not think would be controversial. But it is!

The main controversy stems from recently added provisions designed to expand the bill’s reach to undocumented immigrants (via temporary visas for victims of abuse), Native Americans (by expanding reservations’ jurisdiction to crimes committed against Native Americans by non-Native Americans), and LGBT people. And contrary to its title, the bill doesn’t only protect women. Although VAWA enjoys bipartisan support, certain ass backwards Republicans don’t like its more un-American parts. The Senate voted on whether or not to open up debate on the reauthorization of the bill yesterday, and while it’s expected to pass, a full eight senators voted against it. They are:

Ted Cruz (R-TX)

Contact him!

Mike Lee (R-UT)

Contact him!

James Risch (R-ID)

Drop him a line!

Tim Scott (R-SC)

Shoot him an email!

Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Write him a letter!

Mike Johanns (R-NE)

That wasn’t nice!

Marco Rubio (R-FL)

Boo, Marco Rubio!

Rand Paul (R-KY)

Whatta jerk!

A lot of people are mad at Deb Fischer (R-NE) too, because she is the only woman in the Senate who didn’t co-sponsor the legislation. But she didn’t vote against it, so that’s something.

The bill has to pass the House next, so write to your House rep and tell them how you feel about it by phone or email. If you really want to go crazy, you can tweet at them as well. I realize I’m not the only blogger to cover this today, but I think it’s important, so I’m willing to risk being repetitive.

(Via Jezebel)

Photo: Mike Johanns