Dispute over Violence Against Women Act roils budget talks

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“I just want to make sure it gets funded for a period of time, while we work out the substantive issues,” said Indiana Rep. Susan Brooks of the Violence Against Women Act. The fate of the 1994 law has been in flux for months. | AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Congressional leaders are still haggling over an extension of the landmark Violence Against Women Act — one of the final hold-ups in a funding deal to avert a shutdown Friday.

The parties are clashing on multiple fronts, as Republicans and Democrats fight over whether — and how — to expand protections for victims of domestic violence in the #MeToo era.

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One dispute centers on a Democratic push to add new protections for people who are transgender, which the GOP is resisting; meanwhile, Republicans want a short-term extension to buy more time to negotiate a broader deal, according to multiple lawmakers and aides.

The fight broke out into the open on Wednesday as negotiators were closing in on a final spending agreement, with GOP leaders accusing Democrats of scuttling a temporary VAWA extension in an attempt to add new provisions.



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