Following new stories revealing that Congressman Steve Southerland voted against the bipartisan Violence Against Women Act without reading the bill, the Gwen Graham for Congress Campaign issued the following statement:
Statement from Campaign Manager Julia Gill Woodward
“It’s disappointing for North Florida women that Congressman Southerland didn’t think reading the Violence Against Women Act was a priority — or even a job requirement — before he voted against it. Even worse, Congressman Southerland is trying to claim he didn’t have time to read the bill – even though it sat on his desk for over two weeks. Protecting women from violence isn’t a partisan issue, but Congressman Southerland’s actions and comments have shown that he is willing to put his Washington politics above the needs of North Florida.
“The North Florida Way means making informed decisions about what you’re voting on. It means always working to protect the people you have the honor of serving. Congressman Southerland claimed it’s his job to read bills and complained that his $174,000 salary isn’t enough. But these new revelations make it clear that Congressman Southerland is wasting our tax dollars while failing to fulfill even the most basic parts of his job.”
Talking Points Memo: “GOP Rep. Southerland: I Didn’t Read Senate Version Of VAWA.” “He was then asked in the same interview if he has read the VAWA bill passed by both the House and the Senate. ‘No, I haven’t read all the bill. It doesn’t matter. I don’t have it. It’s law. The horse is out of the barn. I mean it’s gone. Okay? And I didn’t have a chance to read it.’ Southerland said.” [TPM, 10/22/14]
The Hill: “Southerland says he still hasn’t read VAWA.” “Despite its apparent importance, however, Southerland said he still hasn’t read the measure in full, because ‘it doesn’t matter…it’s law.’” [The Hill, 10/22/14]