WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) - Just hours ahead of stepping in front of the
cameras to give the Republican response to President Barack Obama's
State of the Union address, Senator Marco Rubio voted against the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
The VAWA passed
the Senate, despite Rubio's no vote, by a 78-22 margin. All 22 of those
who voted against the reauthorization of the bill were men and included
not only Rubio but also Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The original Violence Against Women Act was passed in 1994, but
expired in 2011 as Congress' partisan divide grew. The bill seeks to
help victims of domestic violence, stalking, and other crimes. The
reauthorization added new protections for LGBT and Native American
victims, according to the Huffington Post.
Overall, the VAWA had 62 co-sponsors in the Senate.
President Obama released a statement immediately upon passage of the
bill praising the work of Senators across party lines and said the bill
will "help reduce homicides that occur from domestic violence, improve
the criminal justice response to rape and sexual assault, address the
high rates of dating violence experienced by young women, and provide
justice to the most vulnerable among us."