Senate Set to Pass Anti-Slavery Bill
‘Today we’ll finally vote to deliver much-needed resources for the victims of modern slavery, with Hyde expressly applying to all funds used for health and medical services just as it was in the original bill.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the bipartisan path forward on the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act:
“Help is finally on the way for the thousands of enslaved victims who suffer unspeakable abuse in the shadows. These victims often have nowhere safe to sleep. They often have no one safe to turn to. And if they do try to escape, many risk being treated by the justice system like criminals instead of the victims they truly are.
“These victims deserve the help the Justice for Victims for Trafficking Act would provide. It’s a human-rights bill victims groups and advocates have called ‘the most comprehensive and thoughtful piece of anti-trafficking legislation currently pending,’ and one that ‘provides unprecedented support to domestic victims of trafficking, who are too often invisible and underserved.’
“We’re relieved we can finally say it will pass today, and that the Senate won’t violate longstanding, bipartisan Hyde precedent in doing so.
“But let me be as clear as possible: there was never a logically consistent rationale for the filibuster that held this bill up, and the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service explicitly backed up what Republicans had long said when it confirmed that there are no private funds in this bill.
“Thankfully, the filibuster is finally at an end. Today is a new day.
“Today we’ll finally vote to deliver much-needed resources for the victims of modern slavery, with Hyde expressly applying to all funds used for health and medical services just as it was in the original bill. That’s nothing new, it’s simply a reaffirmation of the status quo.
“We know that today’s outcome would not have been possible without the herculean efforts of my colleague Senator Cornyn. He was determined to see justice for victims. He negotiated across the aisle in good faith. He never gave up, not even in the bleakest hour. And today, the real focus of all our efforts — the victims of trafficking and modern slavery — can see that help is finally on the way.
“So we thank Senator Cornyn. We thank his negotiating partners from both parties. We thank Chairman Grassley for his superb work on this important bill in the Judiciary Committee as well.
“We look forward to this bill’s passage in the House and its signature by the President.
“And once the Justice of Victims of Trafficking Act passes here in the Senate, we’ll turn to consideration of the President’s nominee to be Attorney General. It’s just what I’ve pledged we’d do, and it’s just what we will do.”
Related Issues: Defending Life, Combating Sex Trafficking, Restoring the Senate