84394539 Hutchison Urges Senate To Renew Violence Against Women Act

Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) speaks to her peers on January 21, 2009 at the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is pushing to get more federal funding to pay for rape kits.

Speaking from the Senate floor Thursday, Hutchison asked her colleagues to support her version of the Violence Against Women Act. The act and funding package, which was created in 1994, has expired and is due to be renewed.

She said her version of the act would help “get the backlog of these rape kits put forward so that we can stop people who are perpetrating these crimes from being out loose doing it again.”

Both Democrats and Republicans agree that the act should be renewed, but they disagree on what should be included in the new version.

Republicans disagree with the Democrats’s plan to include protections for victims who have been battered by a same-sex partner. The Democrat plan also offers protections for abused illegal immigrants and Native Americans.

Hutchison disagrees with this version, which also offers protection for transgender victims.

In her appeal, Hutchison asked for the Republican version to be approved to speed up the process in helping victims.

“Sen. Cornyn has been trying for a long time to strengthen the ability to stop this backlog and get the rape kits tested so that the perpetrators, we have the evidence to get them so that they will not commit these crimes against other innocent people,” she said.