Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is making his views known to Washington about domestic violence.
Congress left for its August recess without reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act. Congress reconvenes Sept. 4, but the act must be reauthorized in the remaining 11 legislative days before VAWA expires on Sept. 30.
The measure could erupt in election-year politics. The bill is co-sponsored in the House by 104 Democrats and no Republicans. When he was a senator in 2013, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions opposed the bill, and it would be his Department of Justice tasked with carrying out the program, if Democrats can reauthorize it.
In a letter addressed to congressional leaders Monday, Hickenlooper urged reauthorization the act that first passed in 1994 and was last reauthorized in 2013. Its grant programs help victims and to bring abusers to justice, the governor’s office said.
Colorado received more than $2.1 million from the program this year alone, including training for nurses, law enforcement and prosecutors, as well as direct victims services.
“The safety of our communities requires continued investment to protect those who may fall victim to sexual and intimate partner violence,” Hickenlooper wrote. “We ask that you work across the aisle to reauthorize this law in order to protect millions of women and their families in Colorado and throughout the country.”
Last year Hickenlooper urged leaders in Washington to pass a bipartisan fix to the Affordable Care Act, and he tried again in March.
Last month he urged the White House to scuttle a plan to more closely regulate women’s health services to make sure federal money isn’t supporting abortion services.