Women And Hurricanes: This Congress Is The Worst

So, I don’t know how aware you are of this, but the 2010 and onward Congress has been one of the most objectively abysmal Congresses in the history of the United States. And yet, despite being horrifically awful, since the November elections it has somehow managed to continue to get worse. The GOP is absolutely imploding in Congress, particularly in the House of Representatives, with several Republicans refusing to vote John Boehner back in as House Majority Leader. Heck, some are even finally recognizing that they should all be fired. (His reasonings are, of course, not that sound, but his conclusion that the entirety of Congress should be fired seems about right with only a few exceptions, like Senator Al Franken.)

So, how exactly has Congress achieved their most monumental feat and gotten worse, ringing in the new year with absolute aplomb? (That last word is a joke, to be sure.)

Well, first of all, they managed to let the Violence Against Women Act suddenly become unfunded. It is perhaps the easiest, most bipartisan bill on the books, and all Congress had to do was say “Should we keep funding it? Yes.” But they couldn’t manage even that. Instead, programs proven to work all over the nation will now find their funds dried up, causing job loss and, oh yeah, women in abusive relationships to be severely curtailed in their options for help. Bravo, Congress.

And then, there’s Hurricane Sandy. Sandy, which rather thoroughly ravaged New York and New Jersey, leaving many homeless and somewhat hopeless, seems to be a simple cause. Vote to supply Sandy victims with federal money. It’s something that tends to happen with most every big natural disaster, and people don’t tend to complain too much.

Yet the House of Representatives majority party (that’d be the GOP led by Boehner for those playing at home) decided, after being thoroughly shellacked over the fiscal cliff, to not vote on the Senate’s Sandy relief bill. After popular opinion and massive in-party vitriol punched them in the face a few times, Boehner decided to let the House vote on Sandy relief. But not what the Senate had passed. No, they voted on a one page, two paragraph bill for $9.7 billion, and even then, some 67 Republicans couldn’t vote for it. Apparently because it had a bunch of pork attached. In that two paragraphs.

Bring it on, 2013. We’ve got a bumpy ride ahead.

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6 thoughts on “Women And Hurricanes: This Congress Is The Worst

  1. mharper says:

    I have a problem with VAWA: why the hell is it called that? If citizens are guaranteed equal protection under the laws, why isn’t this thing called the Domestic Violence Prevention Act or something, with an Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence rather than an Office on Violence Against Women? Maybe this is an overly nit-picky response, but it’s the principle of the thing.

    • linaloki says:

      Not 100% certain. Perhaps it comes from the time it was written, in which it was generally believed women were the ones abused in relationships? I mean, we now know, of course, that there are men abused as well… I don’t think the law prohibits the funds from being applied to abused men, though.

  2. mharper says:

    http://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/overview.htm Here’s the “About” page on the Office on Violence Against Women…it pretty consistently refers to women, even though obviously the law applies to both sexes. It’s little stuff like that that bothers me.

    Also, if citizens are afforded equal protection under the laws, WTF is up with the whole issue of provisions for LGBTQ. By being citizens, they get the same treatment, right? Shit shouldn’t have to be codified, the Constitution’s got it covered–doesn’t matter if you’re for or against those provisions, they’re technically superfluous, yes? (The Native American and illegal immigrant issue is different, as the US has a history of weird jurisdiction stuff regarding reservations, and illegal immigrants are not citizens of the US.)

    I recall that, as an incoming freshman, I was informed that if I were to get into an altercation with my roommate, that would be considered domestic violence, because we lived together in a domestic arrangement. In what possible way would violence between people who live together, whatever their gender and whatever their relationship to one another, not be construed as domestic violence?

    • linaloki says:

      Yeah, the Native American and LGBTQ provisions making the Republicans shy away from the law is a massive slap in the face to equality and human decency. I’m listening to an audiobook for work that supposes a future of people being legally segregated against due to cybernetic enhancements and implants. My thought was, “We’d never do that, we’ve learned our lesson with slavery and civil rights.” And then stuff like this reminds me that, oh yeah. There are people that are still complete jackholes.

      • mharper says:

        But what I don’t understand is why LGBTQ individuals aren’t already covered by the law, if it is to be applied equally to all citizens. Am I missing something here?

      • linaloki says:

        Potentially because no one’s sued for it yet. Problem is, with LGBTQ individuals already being basically treated as second class citizens and specifically targeted in several laws preventing them from things, such laws won’t change until the Supreme Court takes on that type of law and makes a general statement regarding the legal protections of GLBTQ individuals. And a general statement might be too much to ask for. Likely, someone would have to sue specifically for inclusion in this law.

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