WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today responded to the United States Senate unanimously passing the repeal of Section 910 of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The repeal was originally a component of the larger Safe Families, Safe Villages Act of 2013, but today’s vote simply strikes that provision from the bipartisan VAWA bill passed in 2013 with Senator Murkowski’s strong support.
“Alaska tribes asked me to repeal Section 910 of VAWA, and I heard them loud and clear. In the new Congress beginning next month, it will be imperative to ensure that our tribal courts in Alaska receive the funding they critically need – not only for training and capacity development, but also for operations,” said Senator Murkowski. “We must correct the failed Administration policy of not funding courts in PL280 states. It is time, and this will remain a top priority of mine in the new Congress.”
At a November hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Murkowski stressed her support for repealing the VAWA provision. At the hearing, she said:
“Talking about the Village Safe Families Act we’ve been working on, [Senator Mark Begich] has mentioned there has been resistance on the Republican side. There are those waiting to hear comments from the Department of Justice [that would implement that law in its entirety]. We’re still waiting.
I’ve committed to him and to Alaska that one of the things we can do is to repeal section 910 of VAWA, an absolutely Alaska-specific item and an effort to go a long way to make sure there is equity for those most vulnerable.”
Watch Senator Murkowski speaking at the Indian Affairs Committee hearing below.