But he will support a Senate-passed version that includes protections for gay, lesbian and transgender individuals who are victims of domestic violence and provide Native American tribal courts the authority to prosecute non-Native American men who commit violence against Indian women on tribal land.
The Republican-led House will take up its version first and if it's defeated the House will then vote on the Senate bill. The latter is expected to pass and thus the bill would go straight to President Obama's desk.
Dent was among a dozen or so House Republicans who called on House Speaker John Boehner to bring up the bill a few weeks ago. Dent said then that delaying reauthorization of VAWA "does this House no credit."
On Wednesday, Dent explained that he'll vote against the House bill and for the Senate one because he wants the quickest path forward for the legislation. Several other Republicans are expected to do the same.
Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey also voted for the Senate bill despite reservations. Before he voted for it, he supported a GOP amendment that would have stripped out the tribal protections.
Furthermore, a year earlier Toomey voted against the entire VAWA bill. His office said part of his support this year came because the bill did not include expansion of U visas for immigrants who are victims of domestic violence.
Toomey, asked last week about his new support for the bill, had this to say in a statement:
“Domestic violence is a serious issue and the No. 1 cause of injury to women in the United States. In the last nearly 20 years, the Violence Against Women Act has improved our law enforcement system’s ability to protect victims and prosecute attackers, and helped communities protect women in times of crisis.
“The Senate has acted and I hope the House will soon consider its version of the bill. While not perfect, this legislation is an improvement over the proposal we considered last Congress. I am hopeful that the few remaining problematic provisions can be addressed as the legislative process continues.”
Of course if the House passes the Senate version on Thursday there will be no further "legislative process" and the VAWA reauthorization becomes law.