Congress on Thursday gave Indian tribes new power to prosecute non-Indians in tribal courts for any crimes linked to domestic violence.
Ending a 16-month battle with the Senate, the House of Representatives voted 286-138 to approve the plan as part of an expansion of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act. Republican opponents relented after failing to win enough votes to reauthorize the law without the provision.
The bill now goes to President Barack Obama, who said he’d sign it.
“I’m ecstatic,” said Deborah Parker, the 42-year-old vice chairwoman of the Tulalip Tribes in Washington state, who came to the Capitol last year to recount how she’d been sexually and physical abused while growing up on the reservation.