Senate approves anti-trafficking measure with tribal provisions

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

The Senate voted 99 to 0 on Wednesday to pass S.178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

The bill creates a fund help law enforcement combat trafficking and to assist victims of trafficking. Although tribes weren't included in the introduced version of the measure, they are eligible for grants from the under a substitute that was accepted by lawmakers.

Tribes, states and local governments are eligible for grants to "reduce the occurrence of trafficking of Indian children or provide support services to Indian children who are victims of human trafficking," the new version of the bill states.

"This effort to help end modern-day slavery should have been above politics all along, but it's good to see that bipartisanship has once again prevailed in the Senate so these victims can receive much-needed resources," Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota), who had been pushing for tribal inclusion, said in a press release.

The Senate's action clears the path for a vote on the long-delayed nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as the next leader of the Department of Justice. She is expected to be confirmed this morning and would be the first African American woman to serve as attorney general.

The House version of the anti-trafficking bill is H.R.296. It awaits action in that chamber.

Get the Story:
Senate passes legislation targeting sex trafficking after lengthy delay (The Washington Post 4/23)
Senate Approves Stalled Human Trafficking Bill, Clearing Way for Lynch Vote (The New York Times 4/23)
Loretta Lynch to Face Long-Awaited Vote for Attorney General (The New York Times 4/23)

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