Published On: Thu, Apr 23rd, 2015

Human trafficking bill passes Senate after Democrats withdraw abortion fight

The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved a stalled bill to fight human trafficking after Democrats withdrew their support for the bipartisan bill over an anti-abortion provision. The Senate will now consider the nomination of Loretta E. Lynch to be the next attorney general

The 99-to-0 vote moved the chamber past legislation that had been delayed for about six weeks.

“I’m glad we can say there is a bipartisan proposal that will allow us to complete action on this important legislation, so we can provide help to the victims who desperately need it,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor.



Minority Leader Harry Reid said Republicans had “agreed not to expand the scope of the Hyde language,” the abortion provision that had been the sticking point for Senate Democrats who had been filibustering the bill.

McConnell said Tuesday that “as soon as we finish the trafficking bill,” they’ll take up Lynch’s confirmation vote — “hopefully in the next day or so.” Reid and McConnell thanked Senators Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, and John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, as the lead negotiators on hammering out a compromise.

The Senate trafficking bill, which was intended to increase penalties for perpetrators and support for victims, particularly the preadolescent girls who are targeted, would also strengthen the ability of law enforcement to investigate trafficking, including through the expanded authority to intercept communications. It would also make patrons of traffickers equally responsible for the crimes, imposing harsher punishments on the so-called johns.

“This has been a long, strange journey here to final passage, but here we are, and we’ve kept our focus all along on the victims,”  Cornyn said on the floor shortly before the final vote.

“I know that Senator Cornyn and many others agreed with us that an effort to fight back against human trafficking in our country is, without question, no place for gridlock and dysfunction,” Murray said on the floor. “It certainly shouldn’t have taken this long.”

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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