Crapo among VIPs at White House for signing of Violence Against Women Act

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, shared the stage with President Obama and Vice President Biden at Thursday’s signing ceremony to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act.

Crapo was the lead Republican Senate sponsor, partnering with Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. The all-GOP Idaho delegation was split on the measure, with Rep. Mike Simpson joining Crapo in support and Sen. Jim Risch and Rep. Raul Labrador opposed.

Crapo was among 16 dignitaries who joined Obama and Biden on stage, according to the White House. (A complete list is attached at the bottom of this post.)

A news release from Crapo follows:


 Violence Against Women Act Reauthorized Another Five Years

WASHINGTON (Thursday, March 7, 2013) – The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), signed into law today by President Barack Obama, will strengthen programs and policies meant to prevent domestic and sexual violence and protect victims, ensuring continued services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), the bill’s lead Senate authors, both attended a White House signing ceremony Thursday, and called the bill’s long overdue enactment a bright spot in a divided Congress.

Leahy, who as Senate President Pro Tem is a member of Senate leadership, insisted that the chamber act quickly to reauthorize the measure this year.

“We made the Violence Against Women Act our top priority this Congress, and today, President Obama signed this vital legislation into law.  At a time when we face gridlock and stonewalling on even the most compelling issues, I am glad to see that we acted in a bipartisan manner to help victims of violence in Vermont and across the country,” said Leahy. “Today, victims of violence, members of law enforcement and those committed to working against domestic and sexual violence celebrate the signing of this important law, and I applaud them for their work and dedication to seeing that the Violence Against Women Act be reauthorized this year.”

“VAWA is being signed because of the many advocates and victims of crime in Idaho and across the country who have assisted us in passing this critical legislation,” Crapo said.  “Sadly, Idaho has already seen four deaths this year linked to domestic violence, but national statistics show VAWA is working to reduce domestic crimes by a third. Those four lives in Idaho further prove the importance of having this act in place.

“Violence against women and girls violates what we believe in and is not consistent with our values of a compassionate community where violence is never tolerated,” said Kelly Miller, Executive Director, Idaho Coalition Against Sexual & Domestic Violence. “We are so grateful to Senator Crapo for his national leadership in the passage of a bipartisan and inclusive Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.”  Miller was in Washington, D.C. to attend the signing ceremony.

The law signed by the President today renews VAWA’s charter for another five years, and includes new and vital protections for all victims of domestic violence. The law also seeks to reduce the backlog of untested rape kits throughout the country, provides needed assistance to law enforcement in prosecuting sexual assault crimes, and assists law enforcement in investigating human trafficking crimes by also reauthorizing for four years the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which expired in September 2011.

“As a husband, father, and grandfather, and as a former prosecutor who saw the aftermath of this type of violence firsthand, I am honored to have worked to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act,” said Leahy. “I applaud the hard work of Senator Crapo and many others, and I thank President Obama for signing our bill into law today.”

“Chairman Leahy deserves the gratitude of all Americans for his leadership on this legislation,” Crapo added.  “If just one life is saved because of VAWA, then our work has been worth it.  We must continue to advocate for the victims and agencies that assist those hurt by domestic and sexual abuse.  While the signing of VAWA will help save countless lives, we need to ensure we continue to have the most up-to-date protections to stop this violence in place.”

The 16 who joined Obama and Biden were, according to the White House:

Attorney General Eric Holder

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT, Bill Sponsor

Senator Mike Crapo, R- ID, Bill Sponsor

Senator Susan Collins, R-ME, Bill Co-sponsor

Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA

Representative Steny Hoyer, D-MD

Representative John Conyers, D-MI, Bill Co-Sponsor

Representative Gwen Moore, D-WI, Bill Sponsor

Representative Tom Cole, R-OK

Rosemary “Rosie” Hidalgo-McCabe, Director of Public Policy, Casa de Esperanza

Chief James Johnson, Baltimore County Police Department

Deborah Parker, Vice Chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington State

Diane Millich, Executive Director, Our Sister’s Keeper

Tysheena (Tye) Rhames, Trafficking Survivor/Advocate

Sharon Stapel, Executive Director, New York City Anti-Violence Project



Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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