Rape Exam Testing in 1994 Crime Bill is a Silly Argument Against McCain

Of all the reasons to oppose John McCain, the liberal blogger meme developing that he voted against Joe Biden's 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill is among the silliest and most misinformed.

H.R.3355, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, was one of the worst bills ever passed. The Republicans voted against it largely because it contained the ban on semi-assault weapons and represented a mass and over-federalization of state crimes.

Tucked among the provisions providing for more than 60 new death penalty offenses, $9.7 billion for new prisons, authorization of more prosecution of juveniles as adults, elimination of educational Pell grants to low income prison inmates, limitations on federal funds to states that didn't require offenders to serve 85% of their sentences, creation of a federal three-strikes law, limits on bail for those accused of sex offenses, criminalizing membership in a street gang, ratcheting up drug and other crime penalties and creating 50 new federal crimes, were Joe Biden's Violence Against Women Act and Safe Streets for Women Act. [More...]

A vote against this bill was not a vote that women should pay for their own rape exam testing. The provision on rape kit testing (Section 2005) related to whether the feds would reimburse the states for rape exam testing and provided that for the states to be eligible for reimbursement, the states had to have paid for it or reimbursed women for it. It did not shield women from paying for rape exams. It was about whether the feds would reimburse the states.

Again, it was a horrible and draconian bill that is largely responsible for our misguided reliance on over-incarceration and McCain's vote against it, while not made for the correct reasons, was not a vote that women pay for their own rape exams.

Of all the reasons to attack McCain, this isn't one of them and it's a silly reason to link McCain into whatever failures Gov. Sarah Palin has on that issue. He may have a record of poor votes on issues related to women, but using this 1994 crime bill, and the cost of rape exams in particular, as one of them is just silly.

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    You nailed this one (none / 0) (#1)
    by Peter G on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 08:48:43 PM EST
    Good job, TL.  What you say is the truth.  Deceptive and misleading arguments are the other side's game, not ours.

    Only Senate D to vote against: Feingold. (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 09:21:49 PM EST
    Most of the House D votes against were from the CBC. (Conyers, Waters, Dellums.)

    why omnibus bills suck (none / 0) (#3)
    by txpublicdefender on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 10:25:00 AM EST
    I would never criticize someone for voting against a federal omnibus crime bill.  They're always full of terrible provisions.  Of course, I'm a public defender.

    off topic comment (none / 0) (#4)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 06:05:09 PM EST
    about Palin and rape victims deleted. This is about McCain and his vote on the Omnibus crime bill.

    it was my comment that was deleted (none / 0) (#5)
    by TheElectricMessiah on Tue Sep 30, 2008 at 06:14:17 PM EST
    I realize my comment wasn't specifically about McCain's vote, but isn't the entire "rape-kit" discussion because of Palin's alleged stance on said rape-kits?

    Should I write a diary instead?