In Political Spat, Ernst Says Schumer Is Blocking Violence Against Women Act. Schumer Returns Volley With Criticism Of Bill.
Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa says that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is blocking the legislation because he wants to hurt her reelection chances. Meanwhile, Schumer says Ernst's version of the bill shows she "is simply afraid of the NRA."
Ernst And Schumer Spar Over Violence Against Women Act
Sen. Joni Ernst is battling with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over the Violence Against Women Act, with Ernst suggesting Schumer is halting her bill to thwart her reelection campaign and Schumer charging that Ernst is "afraid of the NRA." The rare conflict between the Iowa Republican and New York Democrat underscored the political tension on legislation ahead of next year's election, when Ernst will be fighting to win a second term and Schumer will be leading the charge to defeat her. Ernst's seat is one of a half-dozen competitive seats being targeted by Democrats in 2020. (Levine and Everett, 11/19)
GOP Senator Wants Violence Against Women Act Passage By Year End
Ernst is expected to introduce her bill this week, and hopes to pass legislation by the end of the year. Her legislation, according to Ernst and a one-page outline of the forthcoming bill, would reauthorize and provide funding for VAWA, and includes provisions that triple the amount of funding for sexual assault prevention and enhance penalties for abusers. (Carney, 11/19)
Blame Game In Standoff Over Violence Against Women Act
Ernst had been working with Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California for months on a bipartisan reauthorization bill before both sides said the negotiations fell apart earlier this month. Democrats argued they had reached an impasse on gun rights provisions that the House, over the objection of most GOP members, added to the bill earlier this year. (Macagnone, 11/19)
In other news from Capitol Hill —
Schumer: Leadership Trying To Work Out Competing Surprise Medical Bill Measures
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that congressional leadership is trying to work out differences between competing measures to protect patients from getting hit with massive, “surprise” medical bills. The effort is a rare area for possible bipartisan action this year, given that lawmakers in both parties and President Trump say that patients should be protected from getting medical bills for thousands of dollars when they go to the emergency room and one of the doctors in the facility happens to be outside their insurance network. (Sullivan, 11/19)