For Immediate Release
September 15, 2014
Following Weekend of 20th Anniversary of Violence Against Women Act...

Flashback: Ex-Congressman Schilling's Failed Record on Domestic Violence

Schilling Supported Bill To Redefine "Rape," Opposed New Protections for Domestic Violence Victims

Today, following the weekend of the 20th Anniversary of the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) becoming law, the Bustos Campaign issued a "flashback" alert reminding Illinois women of ex-Congressman Bobby Schilling's failing record for domestic violence victims.  When he had the chance, Schilling opposed strengthening protections for victims of domestic violence, lent his name to a bill to redefine "rape," and voted against increased funding for domestic violence prevention programs. 

"Women make over half the electorate in Illinois, but in Congress, Bobby Schilling made his Tea Party politics a priority over the safety of women he represented," said Colin Milligan, the Communications Director for Cheri Bustos for Congress.  "To make matters worse, he's told working women that they don't deserve a living wage, opposes equal pay for equal work and voted to slash Head Start funding that would help ensure a bright future for the children of many working mothers."

 

Background

Schilling Co-Sponsored Bill to Redefine Rape. In 2011, Schilling co-sponsored the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, which would redefine a ban on federal funding for abortions to exempt only “forcible rape” and not “rape” generally. According to the Washington Post, the Act would make a version of the Hyde Amendment permanent. The Hyde Amendment, which had been renewed every year since 1976, prevented some federally-funded health care programs from covering abortions, with exceptions in cases of rape and incest, and when the life of the woman is threatened. However, under the language proposed by the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act, rape becomes “forcible rape.” The Washington Post reported that the bill’s critics believed “the modifier could distinguish it from other kinds of sexual assault that are typically recognized as rape, including statutory rape and attacks that occur because of drugs or verbal threats.” [HR 3 Co-Sponsors, 112th CongressWashington Post2/01/11]

Schilling Voted to Limit Confidentiality Protections for Domestic Violence Victims. In May 2012, Schilling voted against a motion to ensure that nothing would eliminate, reduce, or limit confidentiality protections in the Violence Against Women Act protecting domestic violence victims from future violence. House Democrats called for adoption of the Senate version of the bill because the House Republican version erased confidentiality protections for immigrant women. The motion failed 187-236.  [H.R. 4970, Vote #257, 5/16/12; CQ Vote Summary, 5/16/12; New York Times, 5/16/12] 

Schilling Voted Against Increasing Funding for Violence against Women Prevention Programs. In May 2012, Schilling voted against increasing the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women funding by $20.5 million. The additional funding would’ve been used to assist the office with prosecuting cases of domestic violence and assisted with domestic violence prevention measures. The motion was rejected, 181-233. [HR 5326, Vote #248, 5/10/12]

Schilling Opposed Considering Legislation to Reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. In March 2012, Schilling voted to block reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. By ordering the previous question Representative Slaughter was not allowed to offer an amendment to the rule which would have allowed the House to bring up H.R. 4217, a bill which reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act. The previous question passed, 235-183. [H Res 597, Vote #139, 3/28/12; Congressional Record, Page H1658, 3/28/12]

Opposed Consideration Again. In May 2012, Schilling voted to block reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. If the motion to order the previous question had failed, the House would have considered the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act, which included expanded protections for those vulnerable groups. The previous question passed, 245-187. [H Res 656, Vote #254, 5/16/12]

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