BY WANDA JO STAPLETON
Surely no one would be against protecting women from domestic violence.
Nevertheless, four U.S. Congressmen from Oklahoma voted “NO” this week when asked to pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 – an Act which has been in effect about 20 years. This Act empowers law enforcement agencies to help combat domestic violence.
Voting “NO” were Oklahoma U.S. Reps. Jim Bridenstine, R-Tulsa; Markwayne Mullin, R-Muskogee; Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne; and James Lankford, R-Edmond.
They must either be ignorant of the problem or unconcerned about it.
However, U.S. Rep. Tom Cole of Moore voted “YES.” Maybe Cole, also a Republican, understands that everyone should be protected from violence and abuse because being safe is a basic human right and has nothing to do with politics or party.
What did these four have to gain by voting against an Act which readily passed in 1994 with bipartisan support and which was reauthorized in 2005 with a vote in the House of 415-to-4 and a vote of “unanimous consent” in the Senate?
Explanations are in order from the “Oklahoma Four,” who joined 134 other Republicans in the House to oppose the protection of women.
Strange that only Republicans [138 of them] voted “NO” on this popular Act, which, by the way, became law without their votes.
– Wanda Jo Stapleton, a former Democratic state representative, lives in Oklahoma City and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer