In a solid show of bipartisanship, the Senate has voted to renew the two-decade-old Violence Against Women Act with new provisions to ensure that gays and lesbians, immigrants and Native American women have equal access to the act's anti-domestic violence programs.
The act is credited with aiding millions of domestic violence victims and reducing domestic abuse in the U.S. It expired in 2011 and Congress has struggled to replace it.
Both the House and the Senate passed bills last year, but House Republicans balked at the expansions in the act pushed by Senate Democrats, and no compromise was reached.
House GOP leaders, still smarting from their poor showing among women in the election, have said they will move quickly to come up with their own legislation.
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