Supposedly as a result of the government shutdown, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) expired at midnight on Dec.31.
However, Congress wasn’t shut down, so it was free to renew the act—and still is.
VAWA was enacted in 1994. It was set to expire on Sept. 30 but was given a short extension until Dec. 7, then another until Dec. 21. It is not known what problem the Republican leadership has with VAWA, but in September a letter signed by 46 Republicans was sent to GOP leaders asking for the law to be reauthorized in full that month.
The law provides substantial funding to investigate and prosecute domestic violence, allows civil suits when prosecutors fail to act and requires restitution.