The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act today.
The Violence Against Women Act is the vehicle Congress has used since the 1990s to fund local women's shelters and to combat domestic violence. But it expired in 2011 and has since been locked in a political game of tug of war. The bill passed the Senate last session with overwhelming support but that bipartisan measure sat untouched in the Republican-controlled House.
Maryland Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski says its vital that Congress reauthorize the bill.
"This legislation has been around for almost 20 years, and I think it's time that we pass the legislation, get the money out into the community to protect the victims of domestic violence," Mikulski says.
The Senate is expected to pass the Violence Against Women Act this afternoon, but it's still unclear how House leaders want to proceed.