"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

LA Times: “Time For The Senate To Break The Impasse Over Human Trafficking

April 6th, 2015 by mopns · No Comments

Another major liberal newspaper editorial page has come out today to call for Senate passage of Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

The Los Angeles Times writes, “If ever there were a piece of legislation that should be able to sail through the fractious, politically polarized Congress, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act would seem to be it. Introduced by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, the bill has 33 co-sponsors, 12 of them Democrats, including California’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Who could be against the bill’s hallmark feature, the creation of a fund to benefit victims of domestic trafficking, financed by assessments on the traffickers themselves?

“But no. The bill got stopped in its tracks when Senate Democrats belatedly noticed that the victims’ fund would be covered by the restrictions of the Hyde Amendment, which forbids the use of federal money for abortions.”

Senate Democrats then filibustered this bipartisan bill no less than five times.

In an admission that reveals quite a bit about the Los Angeles Times, the editors note, “This page has never approved of the Hyde Amendment, and we have no desire to see its restrictions imposed on this bill or any other, for that matter.” However, even they say that “the Hyde Amendment has been the law for many years. A fight over whether a fraction of the projected millions of dollars in aid to victims of trafficking and hunters of traffickers can be used on abortion services seems fruitless, and the bill should not be derailed by such a fight.”

No one put it better than Eleanor Gaetan of The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, who told the Dallas Morning News last month, “Senate Democrats are choosing a phantom problem over real victims.”

Other editorial pages have admonished, “Democrats, swallow your pride. Vote to move forward with the human trafficking bill,” as the Chicago Tribune did. And another editorial board that apparently dislikes the Hyde Amendment, that of The Baltimore Sun, said, “Senate Democrats can’t allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good.”

As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said, “It’s hard to even keep straight anymore why Democrats would filibuster this human-rights bill. The bill Democrats now oppose was introduced months ago by a Democrat and a Republican. The bill Democrats now oppose was originally cosponsored by 13 Democrats. The bill Democrats now oppose was approved by every Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. And the bill Democrats now oppose was brought to the floor . . . after Democrats agreed unanimously to do so.”

He also pointed out, “Nearly 70% of Americans support the kind of bipartisan provisions Democrats now claim they object to. And many Democrats have voted for similar bipartisan Hyde language many times before, in both appropriations and authorizing legislation. So our Democratic colleagues obviously lack a rationale for this continued filibustering of anti-slavery legislation.”

Democrats need to stop listening to left-wing lobbyists and listen to sensible voices across the ideological spectrum who say, as the LA Times does, “the bill should not be derailed.”

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