South Florida Republicans oppose GOP version of Violence Against Women Act
Three Republicans from South Florida voted against the GOP's version of the Violence Against Women Act, which passed the chamber on a mostly partisan vote and sets up a confrontation with the Senate, which passed a more expansive version.
Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and David Rivera all voted against their party. South Florida has a large gay population and one of the sticking points was that the GOP version did not include specific language for the LGBT community.
Rivera, through a spokeswoman, cited a different reason: "While there are many important provisions in the House version of VAWA, Congressman Rivera believed the bill jeopardized the safety of immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault by unnecessarily eliminating legal protections for these victims. Congressman Rivera represents a district with a large immigrant population and intends on working with congressional leaders to ensure these legal protections for immigrant women are preserved in the final version of VAWA."