Washington Senator Maria Cantwell says women in the Senate are "mad and tired" of a new Republican effort to kill a domestic violence program. (AP file photo)

Senators Cantwell, Murray fight to save women's bill

A fight over renewal of a longtime domestic violence program in the U.S. Senate is turning into a battle of the sexes, and Washington's two female senators are taking center stage.

"I am furious," Democrat Maria Cantwell told the New York Times. "We're mad, and we're tired of it."

Conservatives are seeking to kill the Violence Against Women Act, a longstanding measure that would increase funding and expand the reach of domestic violence programs.

A group of female Senate Democrats led by Cantwell and fellow Washington senator Patty Murray marched Thursday to the Capitol to protest what they say is just the latest in an all out assault on women's rights. It follows a rancorous battle over President Obama's contraception funding mandate.

"Many of us women have come to the floor over the last few weeks to fight back against attempts to turn back the clock when it comes to women's health care. I'm disappointed these issues kept coming up, but I know I stand with millions of men and women across America who remain ready to defend the gains we've made over the last 50 years," Murray said in a speech on the Senate floor.

The legislation would continue funding for a number of programs such as battered women's shelters and free legal assistance. It would also expand the legal definition of violence against women to include stalking and and provide more support for law enforcement and courts to assist victims.

But conservatives oppose parts including expansion of protection for same-sex couples and allowing temporary visas for battered illegal immigrants, arguing Democrats are trying to broadly stretch beyond the intention of the legislation, which has previously enjoyed bipartisan support since it was enacted in 1994.

Josh Kerns,
Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter/anchor and host of KIRO Radio's Seattle Sounds (Sunday afternoons 5-6p) and a digital content producer for
Top Stories

  • Delay Grows
    The latest estimate says the Seattle tunnel project won't be done until August 2017

  • Hazardous Lots?
    Shoppers say Northgate Mall parking dividers have caused unnecessary injury
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from
In the community
Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.