WASHINGTON, D.C. [04/22/15]—Today, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) released the following statement after voting for a bill in the Senate to combat human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a tragedy, and the victims of trafficking deserve our attention and support,” said Sen. Franken. “I’m disappointed that Republicans put a bipartisan effort to combat human trafficking at risk by adding divisive language that jeopardized women’s health and rights. The compromise now reached provides a path forward that will provide funding to help victims of trafficking without expanding abortion restrictions to non-taxpayer funds.
“While this bill is an important step in the fight against trafficking, I was disappointed that the amendment reauthorizing Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs was not included. That amendment would do a lot more to protect youth at risk of homelessness from sexual exploitation. The alternative that Republicans offered both wouldn’t protect LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately suffer from homelessness, and would repeal the Prevention and Public Health Fund, a misguided effort that would undermine our public health infrastructure.
“I was further saddened to see Republicans use the trafficking bill disagreement as an excuse to delay an entirely unrelated vote on Loretta Lynch’s nomination to serve as Attorney General. I’m glad that the trafficking bill passed and that Loretta Lynch finally appears headed for confirmation. I hope we will not see this pattern play out in future legislative debates.”