ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – She tried not to go there, but she did.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill lashed out against all-things Republican during a news conference on domestic violence Friday.

Missouri’s senior senator attempted to stay away from politics because she was at a news conference in the Circuit Attorney’s office, but soon got going on why she thinks Republicans are trying to block a program which helps victims of domestic violence.

“I think the Tea Party members of the Republican caucus don’t see the value in many federal programs,” McCaskill said.

And while she was on that, she got to thinking about the Republican push for voter IDs. “People know that they’re trying to deny poor people and African-Americans the right to vote. They know what they’re doing.”

The Violence Against Women Act, a federal program to help victims of domestic violence, faces possible elimination in Congress and Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce used the conference to call VAWA one of the most effective programs she has ever seen, helping women out of abusive relationships and sometimes preventing murder.

“I’m told that we now have members of Congress who don’t think that we need a Violence Against Women Act and I can tell you that would be devastating to the City of St. Louis,” Joyce said. “It would be devastating to our ability to prosecute domestic violence and sexual assault and stalking cases.”

The program provides $153,000 in funding for three full-time attorneys and one investigator dedicated to domestic violence cases in St. Louis.

McCaskill says the problem is House Republicans. “They did object to extending protections to gay and lesbian people in this country. I think that’s fundamentally wrong and I think most Missourians would agree that that’s fundamentally wrong.”

“There is a huge number in the Republican caucus in the House that want to dismantle all government programs that come from the federal government,” she added.


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