Watch CBS News

Angelina Jolie visits Capitol Hill

Actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie visited Capitol Hill on Tuesday, December 14 to speak to lawmakers. Representative Cori Bush, a Democrat from Missouri, said she spoke to Jolie about the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

"She's so informed," Bush told CBS News' Nikole Killion.    

Bush tweeted that she is "forever grateful l to get to work in partnership with such strong women across the country in our movement to end domestic violence." She added that as a survivor herself, "this fight is personal" and she thanked Jolie for "leadership to put an end to violence against women."

Jolie previously visited the Capitol in September to support the re-authorization of the act, as well as campaign for children's health issues. At the time, Jolie told reporters that she was meeting with Justice Department officials and GOP Senator Joni Ernst.

The VAWA was a Clinton-era piece of legislation that was the first federal legislation to acknowledge domestic violence and sexual assault as crimes and provide federal resources to combat them.  It was championed by then-Senator Joe Biden, who has called the legislation as "one of my proudest legislative achievements."

But the law needed to be renewed every five years, and it hasn't been reauthorized since 2013. It expired at the end of 2018, and although 33 Republicans joined with the Democratic-controlled House to pass it in 2019, the law did not go anywhere in the GOP-controlled Senate. 

Reauthorizing the VAWA was one of Mr. Biden's key campaign promises. Earlier this year, the House reauthorized the VAWA by a vote of 244 to 172, with 29 Republicans joining all Democrats in voting for it.

"I think it's very important that that's the case and for these issues because it's a family - it's a health crisis, what is happening," Jolie told reporters in September. "And it's going to be solved if you look at it as healthy families and invest in when there is the harm within the families, especially for the children and getting the care early, and prevention, and a lot of the - as they say 'the upstream,' a lot of focus on the prevention and the health and really seeing it that way, so it's a less adversarial situation and more about keeping families together and focusing on protection of women and children, but protection of the whole family."

"UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie is in continue to advocate for the rights of women and children and health in families," a spokesperson for Jolie told CBS News at the September meeting. "In her meetings, she will talk about the importance of VAWA reauthorization, FBI reforms, judicial training, and health equity including non-biased forensic evidence collection."

Senator Mitt Romney tweeted pictures of his meeting with Jolie. He said they discussed support for children and families. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.