CHN: House Moves Bills on Paycheck Fairness and Violence Against Women

The House recently passed two measures to support and protect women. On March 27, the House passed (242-187) the Paycheck Fairness Act. Sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), H.R. 7 would help to close existing gender pay gaps by eliminating loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, helping to break harmful patterns of pay discrimination and strengthening workplace protections for women. Today, women working full time, year-round typically are paid only 80 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts – and compared to white, non-Hispanic men, women of color face even larger wage gaps. For more information on the Paycheck Fairness Act, see these resources from the National Partnership for Women and Families and the National Women’s Law Center.

Just over a week later on April 4, the House passed (263-158) a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Introduced by Reps. Karen Bass (D-CA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), the bill would reauthorize the 1994 law through FY 2024. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, the bill improves lifesaving services for all victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking with modest but important improvements to support survivors. The bill expands housing protections, gives more help to Native American women, and enhances law enforcement tools through grants. It also expands the category of persons who could lose the right to possess guns, including those convicted of dating violence or misdemeanor stalking, closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole.” Reports are this last provision makes it unlikely that the Senate will pass the House version of the bill, as the National Rifle Association opposed the measure. In the House, 33 Republicans broke party lines to vote for the bill; only one Democrat opposed it.