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President Joe Biden welcomed the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act on Wednesday, legislation he has long championed.
Watch Biden’s speech in the player above.
Last Friday, Congress renewed the 1990s-era law that extends protections to victims of domestic and sexual violence, updating the landmark Violence Against Women Act nearly three years after partisan disagreements caused it to lapse.
“Each link in the chain that we’re building made a difference,” Biden said, praising the expansion of the bill.
It passed as part of a $1.5 trillion government funding package and capped years of work by members of the House and Senate.
In the three years since the Violence Against Women Act was last authorized, members of Congress and advocates worked to not only reauthorize the law but to modernize and update it. The new version includes protections for Native American, transgender and immigrant women that had been lacking.
The new version of the law will strengthen rape prevention and education efforts as well as training for those in law enforcement and the judicial system.
Biden introduced the original Violence Against Women Act in June 1990 when serving as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“This law broke the dam of congressional resistance and cultural resistance, and it brought this hidden epidemic out of the shadows,” Biden said.
A subsequent version was eventually included in a sweeping crime bill that then-President Bill Clinton would sign into law four years later. Congress has reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act three times since.
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