The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

February 8, 2013

Congress: How they voted week ended Feb. 8



None of the eight senators who voted no spoke against the bill.

A yes vote was to debate the bill.

MINNESOTA: Voting yes: Al Franken, D, Amy Klobuchar, D 

GOP ANTI-VIOLENCE BILL: Voting 34 for and 65 against, the Senate on Feb. 7 defeated a Republican substitute for S 47 (above). The GOP bill differed, in part, by denying tribal courts jurisdiction over certain domestic-violence cases on reservations; setting mandatory minimum sentences for crimes involving child pornography and sexual assault; imposing stricter controls on the funding of anti-violence programs and providing fewer protections for illegal immigrants who are victims of domestic violence.

Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said: "The key stumbling block to enacting a bill at this time is the provision concerning Indian tribal courts," which, he said, "raises serious constitutional questions concerning both the sovereignty of tribal courts and the constitutional rights of defendants who would be tried in those courts...."

Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said the GOP bill "abandons (the law's) historic emphasis on abuse of women. Women are still more often the victims of domestic and sexual violence with more catastrophic results." He said the GOP bill also provides less protection for victims of violence based on "sexual orientation or gender identity."

A yes vote backed the GOP substitute.

Voting yes: None

Voting no: Franken, Klobuchar 




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