Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Senate Democrats Block Human Trafficking Bill

Today, Democratic U.S. senators voted to block the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act because it did not include abortion funding.  
The Senate voted 55-43 to end debate on an amended version of the bill, falling short of the 60 votes needed for the measure to advance. A second vote to end debate on the underlying bill also failed to muster the necessary votes. In both cases, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., changed his vote to "no" — a procedural move that allows him to bring the bill up again later.

Four Democratic senators sided with Republicans: Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

McConnell warned Democrats before the vote that they would suffer political consequences if they blocked the bill.

"If Democrats actually vote to filibuster a bill to help victims of modern-day slavery, I can't imagine the American people will forget," he said, calling the filibuster "a historic mistake."

Michigan’s U.S. senators (Senator Gary Peters and Senator Debbie Stabenow) both voted against helping victims of human trafficking.  Senator Peters signed on as a co-sponsor of this legislation less than two weeks ago but voted against the legislation because it didn’t include abortion funding.