ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M, is among lawmakers calling for the passage of the U.S. House version of the Violence Against Women Act.
Haaland, who is a co-chair of the Native American Caucus, and a bipartisan group of House members sent a letter to Senate leadership saying they preferred the VAWA that originated in their chamber.
The bill introduced in the Senate stripped critical protections for Native survivors of domestic violence and includes provisions that undermine tribal sovereignty, the letter said. The letter also said that the Senate bill creates administrative requirements for tribal courts that do not apply to other federal, state or local courts and destabilizes congressional protections and 50 years of case law for defendants under the Indian Civil Rights Act.
“The final version of the House passed bill works to seek justice for tribes that have historically lacked the public safety resources to protect their members and, if passed into law, will ensure these injustices don’t continue to exacerbate the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis in the United States,” the lawmakers wrote.