Dunn: I could not support bills' troubling provisions

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Congress voted on several bills this week, including the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2021 and the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021. Both bills included some troubling provisions that I could not support.

The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) reallocates resources away from combatting violent crimes, disregards the wellbeing of women by promoting unproven methods that could force a victim to confront her abuser, and prohibits religious organizations from running shelters and legal aid centers based on their conscience and sincerely held beliefs thus forcing centers to close. The bill passed the House 244 to 172.

The Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021 allows illegal farm workers who worked in agriculture for a period of time, as well as their spouses and children, to apply for “Certified Agricultural Worker” (CAW) status. After an additional period of agricultural work, CAW workers may apply for a green card. Additionally, illegal immigrants would be eligible for CAW status even if they illegally re-entered the U.S., committed immigration fraud, voted illegally in a federal or state election, or committed certain other crimes. Once eligible for CAW status, the illegal immigrant is protected from being detained or removed. The bill passed the House 247 to 174.

The Democrats continue to put us in difficult positions with these politicized bills. At the end of the day, these bills did not meet the needs of my constituents, so I voted against them.

With that said, I did co-sponsor the Violence Against Women Extension Act of 2021, led by Representative Elise Stefanik, which would provide a clean extension of funding for Violence Against Women Act programs for the upcoming fiscal year. This bill more appropriately meets the needs of women throughout this country.

This past week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations heard from Dr. Anthony Fauci and other officials. During the hearing, I expressed my concerns about the vaccination of dialysis patients, air travel guidelines, and bridging the gap between diagnosing and treating COVID-19.

We’ve come a long way in the past year with treatments and vaccines, but there’s still a lot of red tape in our way and some research left to do. If we’re going to eradicate and eliminate this virus once and for all, we must get the politics out of science so we can reunite with our loved ones and get back to living life the way we were before this pandemic.

Neal Dunn has served as the U.S. Representative for Florida's 2nd congressional district since 2017.

This article originally appeared on The Star: Dunn: I could not support bills' troubling provisions

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