WASHINGTON — The House on Thursday rebuffed a furious lobbying campaign by the National Rifle Association and approved a revamped Violence Against Women Act that would expand law enforcement’s ability to restrict gun purchases by convicted domestic abusers.
The legislation passed easily, 263-158, but the divided vote came on what was once a broadly bipartisan measure first passed in 1994. In recent years, partisan rancor over efforts to expand the protections of the legislation have clouded efforts to renew it, and this year, the divide came over gun control.
The provisions would close the so-called boyfriend loophole and bar those under a court restraining order or convicted of abusing, assaulting or stalking a domestic partner from purchasing guns. The N.R.A. seized on the new measures and warned Congress that they would track and publish how lawmakers voted, hoping to intimidate Republicans and Democrats in Republican-leaning districts.
“Do not let the N.R.A. bully you,” Representative Debbie Dingell, Democrat of Michigan, urged her colleagues ahead of the vote, noting that her recently deceased husband, former Representative John Dingell Jr., Democrat of Michigan, was a member of the organization.
Thirty-three Republicans bucked the threat and voted with the Democratic majority in favor of the legislation — among them, Representative Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and the sole Republican sponsor of the reauthorization.
Democrats, even freshman members who won in districts swept by President Trump in 2016, stood up to the gun lobby. Many in the new majority campaigned on tightening access to guns, and they appeared to embrace condemnation from the gun lobby as a badge of honor.
“Lawmakers should be reading the tea leaves,” said Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a group that supports restricting gun laws. “In the midterm elections, it was gun safety that got people to the polls.”
Republicans had advocated for a clean one-year extension of the current law, which expired in February, arguing that new elements of the legislation were controversial and overreached — in particular, the gun restrictions and language offering additional protections to transgender people.
“Can we stop playing political games at the expense of vulnerable women?” asked Representative Elise Stefanik, Republican of New York, on the floor ahead of the vote, arguing that the bill put forward by Democrats would “collect dust in the Senate.” (Democrats, who booed vigorously during her speech, rejected her motion.)
The vote underscored the stark contrasts between the new Democratic majority, with its historic number of women, and the Republican minority, which has struggled to attract women voters and to increase the number of conservative women holding office on Capitol Hill. Democrats framed opposition to the legislation’s renewal as a denial of protections for survivors of abuse, efforts to prevent domestic violence and support for law enforcement.
Representative Sharice Davids, Democrat of Kansas and one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress this past November, presided over the final vote on the measure, which contains a number of protections for women on tribal lands — including a new provision that would allow tribal courts to prosecute nonnative people accused of domestic crimes or dating violence on tribal lands.
A number of Democrats, including Ms. Dingell and Representative Katie Porter of California, offered passionate defenses of the legislation, repeatedly drawing on their own experiences as survivors of domestic abuse.
“I know that fear, I know that terror and I just want to try to save another family from going through that terror,” Ms. Dingell said at a news conference on Wednesday, recalling being afraid as a child that her father, who suffered from mental illness and owned a gun, would harm her mother or her siblings. “Why would you not close that loophole?”
The legislation heads to the Senate, where Senators Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Joni Ernst, Republican of Iowa, have said they will lead efforts to pass a version. It is unclear how many of the new gun provisions in the House legislation will prevail in the Republican-controlled Senate.
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