Another tribal amendment offered for anti-trafficking measure

Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota). Photo from Facebook

Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota) introduced an amendment on Monday to include tribes in an anti-human trafficking bill that has the Senate at a virtual standstill.

S.178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, creates a Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund to help law enforcement combat trafficking and to assist victims of trafficking. Thune's amendment ensures that tribes are eligible for grants from the fund.

“The untold stories of thousands of Americans, including Native American children, who are sold into modern-day slavery are absolutely bone-chilling, and are undeniably some of most deplorable acts of human kind,” Thune said in a press release. “We can begin to right the wrongs of injustice by passing this important legislation. This bill will help victims of trafficking get the aid and resources they need to restore their lives and help bring traffickers to justice. My amendment would allow tribes and local governments to receive support to combat trafficking and care for Native American children who are victims of human trafficking.”

The amendment is similar to one offered last week by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), the chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. But it's not clear if either will see the light of day because Republicans and Democrats continue to fight over a provision that prevents the Domestic Trafficking Victims’ Fund from being used for abortion services.

Republican leaders are vowing to put off other matters -- including the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as the head of the Department of Justice -- until they get the trafficking bill through.

Get the Story:
With a seemingly innocuous bill, Senate manages to tie itself in knots (The Washington Post 3/17)
Impasse Over Sex Trafficking Bill Shows Depth of Rancor in Congress (The New York Times 3/17)

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