A Bill For Rape Victims? For 30 Republicans, It Is Just Too Much

October 20, 2009

US (ChattahBox) – There has been a great deal of outrage over thirty Republicans in Congress, all male, and all white, that have stood up against an amendment by Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota), which would allow rape victims in the workplace to seek a court date.

The bill was penned after the horrific story of Jamie Leigh Jones, a woman who was gang raped by fellow KBR employees, and then held in a shipping container. She has fought arbitration for three years, and will finally get her day in front of a judge to tell her heartbreaking tale.

Franken’s measure has also been rejected by the Department of Defense, though the White House has claimed that it is the bill itself, which reaches beyond cases of rape and into other legal matters, that is being disputed, and not the protection of victims in the corporate world.

According to a memo sent to Congress from the DOD:

“The Department of Defense, the prime contractor, and higher tier subcontractors may not be in a position to know about such things. Enforcement would be problematic, especially in cases where privity [sic] of contract does not exist between parties within the supply chain that supports a contract. It may be more effective to seek a statutory prohibition of all such arrangements in any business transaction entered into within the jurisdiction of the United States, if these arrangements are deemed to pose an unacceptable method of recourse.”

What makes this all more disgusting is the ‘reasons’ behind some of the 30 Republican men who have voted against this bill. Only a few have deemed fit to comment, and in each case the information they have about the bill seems to be inaccurate. Either they are lying to us, or they are being shockingly obtuse.

For example, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alaska), says that because it would be a retroactive bill, it should be voted against. Since it would only apply for 2010 and on, it is not retroactive, though why that would be a negative in the first place is questionable.

Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) said that Franken’s bill would completely eliminate arbitration, and make it a government issue whenever a complaint was issued. This is also untrue, as arbitration would still be used in certain cases (i.e. not related to rape), and employees could still opt for arbitration.

Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) said that it would force employees into civil suits, which would cost them time and money, which is also untrue.

All in all, it seems strange that there would be so many dissenters to protecting people from severe sexual trauma in the workplace. Especially considering several key dissenters don’t seem to have read the bill. Should we assume, then, that the idea of keeping women out of court is the true fuel for the controversy? Or perhaps it is a financial matter, as tends to be the reason behind arbitration in the first place.



2 Responses to “A Bill For Rape Victims? For 30 Republicans, It Is Just Too Much”

  1. julie on October 22nd, 2009 9:42 am

    This seems to be more about calming the nerves of their precious government contractors, and making business as easy as possible for them , with as few niggling legal matters as possible. I love how some of these guys have put up the whole ” I have daughters” as some kind of cred with regard to their concern for women. Having daughters doesn’t prove you care about sexual assault. Putting women’s safety above kickbacks does, though.

  2. Broadened Hate-Crime Measure Gets Final Congressional Approval Minus Republican Support | ChattahBox News Blog on October 22nd, 2009 7:53 pm

    […] House passed the same bill Oct. 8, also with most Republicans opposed. Those wacky Republicans also rejected a bill this week that would have forbidden defense contractors from asking employees to sign away their rights in […]

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