A routine resolution urging Congress to reauthorize federal legislation aimed at curbing domestic violence was temporarily shelved in an unusually public fashion today, as the Senate's top Democrat stepped in to appease concerned female legislators.
Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, was interrupted by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg shortly after he began introducing his Senate Resolution 8, which calls on Congress to re-introduce and renew the Violence Against Women Act, on this Senate floor this morning. After a brief discussion on the floor, Yee announced that he would hold off on bringing the resolution up for a vote.
Steinberg told reporters after session that the confusion was caused by an "innocent miscommunication."
"I think that the women's caucus leaders wanted to make sure that when we passed such a resolution that they had the opportunity to be lead authors as well," the Sacramento Democrat said. "It was just an easy thing to put over so we can make sure that important issue was co-authored, jointly authored, by more members."
Yee Chief of Staff Adam Keigwin said the senator is happy to include members of the women's caucus as co-authors on the resolution, which he noted was introduced and announced in a press release more than a week ago.
"If any (co-author requests) came to us, we would have added it prior to today," he said.
Keigwin said Yee had wanted to present the resolution today -- the first day it was eligible for consideration on the floor -- to get the Senate's position on the issue on the record as soon as possible.
"Congress still hasn't acted, so our position is let's get it as quickly as possible to get Congress to act," he said.
Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, who serves as vice-chair of the Legislative Women's Caucus, was not immediately available for comment.