WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House has passed and sent to President Barack Obama a far-reaching extension of the Violence Against Women Act.
The vote comes after House Republican leaders, cognizant of the need to improve their faltering image among women voters, accepted a Senate bill passed two weeks ago on a strong bipartisan vote.
The House vote to reauthorize the 1994 law that has set the standard for anti-violence programs came after lawmakers rejected a more limited approach from Republicans.
The law lapsed in 2011 and has been caught up in the partisan battles that now divide Congress. Last year, the House refused to go along with a Senate-passed bill that would have made clear that lesbians, gays, immigrants and Native American women should have equal access to anti-violence programs.