Violence Against Women Act Expires Because Of Government Shutdown

Oct 2018
Violence Against Women Act Expires Because Of Government Shutdown

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government, which is affecting more than 800,000 federal workers and numerous government agencies, also has consequences for the Violence Against Women Act, which expired at midnight on Friday.

Separately, both the House and the Senate passed spending deals that included clauses that would have extended VAWA until Feb. 8.

But because the law's future became inextricably tied to the larger budget debate, which hinges on a dispute between Democrats and Republicans over funding for a border wall, it was not reauthorized.

VAWA funds and administers numerous programs assisting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Its expiration does not prevent all of these programs from being administered — according to The Washington Post, grants already awarded under the law will not be affected. But future payment requests from programs that receive VAWA funding will be delayed until the law is reauthorized.

According to Roll Call, the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services administer most VAWA programming. Some VAWA programs that HHS administers may continue to receive funding even though VAWA expirations have expired; Congress approved fiscal 2019 funding for HHS in September. But funding for the Department of Justice is tied to the current budget debate.