U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik recently made an impassioned statement on the House floor for the protection of women. The subject was a new House version of the Violence Against Women Act to be sent on to the Senate. The act requires reauthorization to remain in effect. Stefanik voted against the House version that had amendments that extended protections. She stated that she supported the current VAWA and that by sending this version to the Senate where failure to pass it was a certainty, Democrats were endangering women because women would be left without their current protections without reauthorization.
The current VAWA, for which Stefanik stated her support, places restrictions on gun purchases by married persons who have been convicted of felony domestic abuse or stalking of their spouse. The new House version extended these protections to non-married intimate partners, known as closing the boyfriend loophole.
As Stefanik was very passionate about protecting women’s safety, I wanted to understand her actual positions. I asked her a simple question, regardless of whether or not it has a chance of becoming law: Does she support closing the boyfriend loophole? She refused to answer. I inquired four times, receiving only one response — which did not even acknowledge the question (just giving some vague generalities about an environmental question that I also asked).
So Stefanik gives an impassioned speech and accuses Democrats of endangering women, but she is unwilling to give her constituents a yes or no answer about closing the boyfriend loophole. It leaves me with one conclusion: Stefanik does not care enough to do what is right. She is a savvy politician who thought she could portray herself as a champion for women. But obviously when put to the test over something that might upset the NRA, she could never go that far.