THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SENATE MAJORITY LEADER AND THE SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER
Dear Mr. Leader:
I am writing to urge you to bring the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to the Senate floor this week. This bill is a top priority for my Administration.
An estimated 900,000 women suffer violence at the hands of an intimate partner each year, demonstrating the urgent need for this legislation. Since VAWA was enacted, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services have awarded approximately $1.6 billion in Federal grants to support the work of prosecutors, law enforcement officials, the courts, victim advocates, health care and social service professionals, and intervention and prevention programs in order to combat violence against women. We must reauthorize these critical programs immediately.
As you know, yesterday, the House overwhelmingly passed VAWA reauthorization by a vote of 415-3. In the Senate, VAWA has similar bipartisan support with over 70 cosponsors. If Congress does not act this week, however, VAWA's authorization will expire on September 30, 2000. The Senate should not delay, and I urge you to pass a freestanding version of the Biden-Hatch VAWA reauthorization bill this week. The women and families whose lives have been scarred by domestic violence deserve nothing less than immediate action by the Congress.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
# # #