We take a close look at the Violence Against Women Act re-authorization as the President signs it into law. We also look at the continuing resolution passed by the House, which funds defense while leaving the rest of the government in chaos.
S. 47: Violence Against Women Re-Authorization Act of 2013… Was signed by the President! This one is law. President Obama signs VAWA on March 7, 2013
- Adds stalking and date rape to the list of offenses.
- Includes cyber stalking in the definition of stalking.
- Replaces “spouses” with “parties’
- Adds “sex trafficking” and “stalking” to eligible grant programs for Indian women
- Allows Indian tribes to have jurisdiction over domestic violence crimes unless neither the victim or defendant are Indians.
- Includes D.C., Indian tribes, and Puerto Rico in the grant funding (decreases funding)
- Allows children to stay in U.S. on their victimized parent’s U Visa even if they turn 21 while the VISA is pending
- Grants for training programs for law enforcement and medical personnel
- Funding for pro-bono legal assistance for victims
- Protects the confidentiality of child victims of domestic violence or sexual assault
- Protects students from violence stemming from their immigrant status and gender identity
- Grants for elder abuse training; Defines “elder” as someone over the age of 50
- Prevents victims from being evicted from public housing because they were involved in a domestic violence incident, however, the violent person can be evicted.
- Public housing authorities will need to transfer victims to new housing if their safety is at risk and they request the transfer.
- Orders an audit of unprocessed DNA evidence for sexual assault crimes that haven’t passed the statute of limitations. Program ends 12/31/18. Prohibits any lobbying activity in relation to DNA audit grants and prohibits violators from receiving a grant for at least 5 years.
- 6 months after President Obama signs the bill, DHS has to publish final standards for the punishment of sexual assault in immigrant prisons, including private prisons.
- Prevents marriage brokers from providing information on minors
- Penalty for assault with intent to murder is limited to 20 years and a fine
- Penalty for assault by attempted suffocation limited to 10 years and a fine… suffocation is regardless of intent or visible injury
Report Comptroller General of the United States will issue a report to Congress in two years on the use of foreign labor contractors by U.S. employers. It will include the role of labor recruiters that provide low-wage foreigners to companies, the effectiveness of current regulators enforcement of laws already on the books, describe the jobs the foreigners are doing and how many of them are here, and identify abuses of foreigners including use of fees and debts. Funding
- Deletes ‘‘non- profit, non-governmental victim services or-ganizations,” or “non-profit, private” programs and replaces it with ‘‘victim service providers, staff from population specific organizations,’ in a couple of sections; but not all.
- Prohibits grants from going to non-profits with offshore tax havens
- Prohibits more than $20,000 of grant money from going towards conferences
- Vast majority of funding going DOWN
- Title 12: Secretary of State will establish a fund (amount unknown) to give to foreign governments to prevent human trafficking. Orders them to come up with a strategy and suggest ways for oversight; very broad. Qualifying gov’ts need to have high prevalence of trafficking and a “demonstrated political motivation” to address it. Funding can be terminated if State determines the country is doing things contrary to our national interest or doesn’t “adhere to it’s responsibilities” under the agreement.
- Issues four grants up to $2 million each for combatting sex trafficking of minors. One of the grants needs to go to a small state with less than 5 million people. Most of the money needs to go towards residential care of minor victims of sex trafficking. Overhead can’t exceed 3%. Recipients need to match the grant for every year they get the gov’t money and their match percentage goes up every year the grant is renewed, topping out at 50% on their third year. Program good for four years.
- Decreases funding by half, from 20 to 10 million for law enforcement grants for trafficking.
- Increases funding for victims in other countries from 12.5 million to 14.5 million/year
H.R. 933: House Continuing Resolution Right now, we are in the middle of two crisis’: The sequester is one, an unfunded government that would have to shut down on March 27th is the other. This bill does nothing to solve the sequester. In fact, it expressly keeps it in place. Two of the 12 appropriations categories are funded until the end of the year in the responsible appropriations way in this bill. The other 10 are funded as a continuing resolution, that keeps the funding at old chaotic levels. The House did real work on the Defense appropriations; the Senate is going to change everything on the domestic side as this bill has a real chance of becoming law. In the defense section of the bill, I looked at what items were dramatically over-funded in comparison to what was requested by President Obama and the military. Fighter Jets Boeing F/A-18E/F fighter jets would be given $605 million more than was requested for 11 new airplanes. Boeing/Northrup EA-18G Growler fighter jets are the electronic warfare version of the Boeing F/A-18E/F. They would be given $45 million for 15 new aircraft. Budget request from the military for this item: $0. $0 request, given $45 million for 15 new aircraft Ships/Submarines General Dynamics Virginia Class nuclear submarines would be given $778 million more than requested. These submarines are built in two locations, which makes the submarines more expensive but the program is designed to keep both shipyards in operation. Location #1: General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, CT. The Representative in Groton, CT is Joe Courtney; his top campaign contributors are General Dynamics and Northrup Grumman. Location #2: Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company. The Representative in Newport News, VA is Rob Wittman; he is on the Armed Services Committee & his top campaign contributor is Northrup Grumman. — Northrup Grumman LPD-17 naval ship would be constructed at Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, VA for $263 million. Budget request for this item: $0. The Representative in Newport News, VA is Rob Wittman; he sits on the Armed Services Committee and his top campaign contributor is Northrup Grumman. — A DDG-51 Destroyer would be ordered for $1 billion. No one requested this ship. DDG-51 Destroyers are built in either Bath, ME by General Dynamic’s Bath Iron Works or in Newport News, VA by Huntington Ingalls Industries (formerly Northrup Grumman). Lockheed is the lead contractor for the DDG-51 combat system Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules military transport planes would be given $180 million. Budget request: $0. — Lockheed Martin KC-130J aerial refueling planes would be given $130 million more than requested for 2 additional planes. — Lockheed HC-130J Coast Guard search & rescue planes would be given $126 million more than requested for 2 extra planes. — Lockheed MC-130J Special Forces transport planes also given $126 million more than requested for 2 extra planes. — C-130 planes are manufactured in Marietta, GA and Lockheed brags that it’s “the longest continuously operating aircraft production line in history.” The Representative in Marietta, GA is Phil Gingrey. Phil Gingrey’s second largest campaign contributor is Lockheed Martin. — C-27J cargo aircraft, manufactured by an Italian company but whose engines and systems are produced by Lockheed Martin, would be given $138 million. Budget request: $0. Drones Northrup Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drones would be given $107 million more than requested in order to increase the fleet to 21 drones. Pentagon was unimpressed with the RQ-4 Global Hawk’s performance after deploying them to Japan after the earthquake/tsunami and after they were used in Libya. March 2012: Air Force announced they will put the 14 Global Hawks they already have into storage, and 4 under construction would go directing into the “bone-yard” Northrup launched a multimedia campaign to block the cuts. Global Hawk’s are produced in Palmdale, CA. The Representative for that district is Buck McKeon, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Buck McKeon’s top 5 campaign contributors:
- Lockheed Martin
- General Dynamics
- Northrup Grumman
- General Atomics
— General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper predator drones would be given $155 million more than requested so the Air Force can order twelve more. Then Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force said in 2006 about the predator drones: “We’ve moved from using UAVs primarily in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance roles before Operation Iraqi Freedom, to a true hunter-killer role with the Reaper.” Missile Defense Systems Raytheon’s Patriot missile defense system would be given $300 million more than requested to increase the program. — Aegis ballistic missile defense system would be over-funded by $189 million to buy 17 additional Raytheon SM-3 interceptors, which are ship-based missile interceptors designed to shoot down short & intermediate range ballistic missiles and have been used to shoot down satellites. Israel
Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system would be given $211 million. Budget request: $0. Iron Dome manufactured by a Israel-owned defense technology company, but U.S. is trying to get a co-production deal like they have on their other missile defense system which is co-produced by Boeing Upper tier/Arrow programs are the “other” missile defense programs partnered with Boeing. David’s sling is a third missile defense system for Israel that partners with Raytheon. The Upper Tier/Arrow and David’s Sling missile programs together were given $169 million more than requested. Total in unrequested money given to Israel for missile defense: $380 million. Miscellaneous Appropriations Advanced hypersonic weapon program which “aims to develop a system to deliver a precision conventional weapon strike anywhere in the world within one hour” overfunded by $90 million. — Defense Rapid Innovation Fund, which is supposed to funnel Department of Defense contracts to small businesses was given $250 million. Budget Request: $0. — $5+ billion for the Afghanistan security forces (all of it requested). — “Miscellaneous equipment” would be given to every branch of the military. Total = $1.5 billion. None of these funds were requested. Creepy Spy Sh*t Camp Williams in Utah – location of the Utah Data Center was given $191,414,000 (all of it requested). Total Classified Programs: $31,309,229,000 = $900 million more than was requested. Good News Over-funded medical research by $635 million. Things that will be studied include:
- substance abuse
- breast cancer
- gulf war illness
- lung cancer
- ovarian cancer
- prostate cancer
- traumatic brain injuries
- AIDS prevention
Net totals appropriated to Defense:
- $622 billion was spent in 2012
- $597 billion requested for 2013
- $598 billion given in this bill … More than requested