Senate Bill Would Help Curb Heinous Crime of Human Trafficking
‘The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, introduced by Senator Cornyn and his Democratic colleague, Senator Klobuchar, would give voices to the voiceless and justice to children suffering in the shadows.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor urging members to support bipartisan human rights legislation:
“Every year in America, countless innocent victims—including children—are bought and sold into modern-day slavery. The heinous crime of human trafficking is shameful. It’s disgraceful.
“And the Senate can do something about it by passing the bipartisan human rights legislation before us today.
“The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, introduced by Senator Cornyn and his Democratic colleague, Senator Klobuchar, would give voices to the voiceless and justice to children suffering in the shadows.
“Their bipartisan human rights bill may not be that long, but it sure is effective.
“And it’s transparent. This bill has been available for any Senator, and any member of the public, to read since January. This bipartisan legislation was considered and strengthened in an open and transparent committee process. And this human rights bill conforms with long-standing bipartisan law that so many of our Democratic friends have supported repeatedly.
“It’s no wonder that, once Senators read this bill, they can’t seem to help but support it.
“We welcome the 13 Democratic cosponsors of this human rights bill. We welcome the messages of support our Democratic friends have delivered as well.
“Here’s what one Democratic Senator from New York had to say just a few days ago. ‘We should pass Senator Cornyn’s Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act,’ she said.
“She explained that this bipartisan bill would, quote, ‘support programs for survivors of human trafficking and child pornography and ensure that the johns who are buying trafficking victims are actually prosecuted in Federal court.’
“She’s right, all of those things are contained in the text of this bipartisan bill.
“We also heard the Democratic Senator from North Dakota who called on me to bring, quote, ‘S. 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, to the floor for a vote.’
“I was happy to do it.
“I’m appreciative of her support.
“I’m appreciative of the support from so many from across the aisle, who have read and support this bill.
“The children who suffer from such terrible oppression and injustice must appreciate their support too.
“They must appreciate our Democratic friends closely examining this bipartisan human rights bill of modest length, and then voting unanimously to support it in the Judiciary Committee.
“And then on Monday, they must have appreciated seeing our Democratic friends join with us to unanimously advance the same bipartisan human rights bill.
“Here’s what the Democratic leader had to say that day—right after I called for strong bipartisan backing for our human rights legislation: ‘On human trafficking, I underscore, appreciate, and agree with the statement of the Republican leader. I feel very confident we will clear on our side moving to that. I think it would be a waste of the Senate's time to have a vote on a motion to proceed and a waste of time afterward....’
“‘I doubt there will be problems on my side,’ he continued. ‘If there are, I will work to clear them.’
“I was very appreciative of my good friend making that statement after examining this bipartisan legislation.
“This bipartisan human rights bill may not be that long, but it’s critical to helping lift innocent victims out of the shadows.
“A broad coalition, everyone from the NAACP to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, has called it, quote, ‘vital.’
“‘The [Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act] provides unprecedented support to domestic victims of trafficking, who are too often invisible and underserved,’ they wrote. ‘As leaders in the anti-trafficking, anti-violence, child welfare, civil rights, runaway and homeless youth, and human rights movements, we urge Congress to pass this critical piece of legislation,’ they continued.
“I urge members on both sides of the aisle to help pass this transparent and bipartisan human rights legislation overwhelmingly.”
Related Issues: Combating Sex Trafficking, Senate Democrats