Monday, March 4, 2013

Roskam to 6th District: "HAHA To VAWA"

By Walt Zlotow
We in Illinois' 6th Congressional District can always count on Congressman Peter Roskam: he always lets us down. Whether voting against a tax decrease for the middle class because it contained a tiny tax bump for the greedy rich, opposing hurricane relief for northeast victims of Sandy, or now, re-authorizing VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) because it extends needed protections for lesbians, gay men and women on Indian reservations, Roskam always votes against the Public Interest.

For the third time House since December, House Speaker Boehner allowed important legislation to move off the House floor to passage without a majority of his divided party because he's desperately trying to salvage the Republican brand tarnished by unconscionable stands of virtually every issue affecting America. But Congressman HAHA will have none of it. He joined the GOP majority of 137 other Republicans in a symbolic vote against re-authorizing this critical legislation, adopted in 1994 but allowed to expire in 2011. VAWA provides funding for programs that help prosecute sexual assault and domestic abuse cases and assist crime victims. The only down side to the current re-authorization is that annual funding for the next 5 years was cut by 135 million, 17% less than its last re-authorization in 2005.

What is particularly cynical and reprehensible about Roskam's vote is his typical tactic of pretending to support important legislation he opposes. I checked Roskam's web site for his take on the issue and was surprised to find a video clip of him praising the House version of this important bill, emphatic that sexual and domestic abuse against women will not be tolerated. Was I imagining his positive support? Turns out that the Roskam video was from May 18, 2012, and was a pitch for the much more water-downed House version which was soundly rejected by a strong bi-partisan consensus in the Senate - the one Roskam voted against. To hear Roskam respond to two female constituents' questions, he is women's Lord Protector whose VAWA version will prevent bad ol' Uncle Sam from creating a backlog of rape kits in sexual assault cases. Check out this hilarious, but truly sad video at, typing VAWA in search box.

How about a little candor and honesty from the Congressman. He should take down his silly nine month old video and replace it with this announcement:

"I voted against VAWA because I couldn't care less about extending its benefits to lesbians, gay men, undocumented immigrants, Indian women on reservations, and transgender youth. Besides, passage of the Senate version only insures that there will be an increased backlog of rape kit analysis. Seriously, I'm not kidding. I'm Congressman Peter Roskam, and I've approved this policy statement".

1 comment:

  1. Not sure why this is coming now, but we got a flyer in the mail from Roskam - "Protecting the Rights of Women Abroad, Protecting the Rights of Women Here at Home". Talks about the legislation he voted for, but doesn't mention that he voted against VAWA.