Herrera Beutler votes in favor of Violence Against Women Act extension

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Congress passes bill renewing anti-violence law

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Camas, voted on Thursday in favor of both proposals to extend the federal Violence Against Women Act.

The first of those bills, which was defeated, was backed by House Republicans and added new provisions to the anti-violence law, including "more assistance for law enforcement to prosecute criminal offenders, more accountability for funding, and stronger oversight to ensure fair and constitutional criminal proceedings in tribal courts," Herrera Beutler said Thursday.

The House then passed the Senate's version of the plan, which extended the Violence Against Women Act to include protections for immigrants, tribal women and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Herrera Beutler was one of 87 House Republicans to support the Senate's plan. The vote sends it to President Barack Obama for signing

"As a woman, a daughter, a sister, and a friend to others who have suffered the trauma of sexual assault or domestic abuse, I believe Congress has a duty to provide relief for victims of violence and help deliver swift justice to the perpetrators," Herrera Beutler said in a statement. "It's been a disservice to our communities that the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act has been stalled for several months now, and today I took action that would put an end to the delay."

Washington's Democratic Sens. Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray also voted in favor of the Senate plan to reauthorize the anti-violence act.-- Stevie Mathieu