“Human trafficking” is a pretty whitewashed term for something so ugly. Peel away the layers and you’ll find stories that don’t sound like they should come from the United States.

You’ll find rape, and sexual assault. And abuse. And slavery.

And Democrats are refusing to fight it.

Back in January, members of Congress used the Super Bowl to help draw attention to one of the more commonly-known ventures associated with human trafficking—prostitution. Members of the House majority used examples of how organized crime rings import men, women, and children into event hubs (like Phoenix) and sell sex in exchange for tourist dollars. The House sent a dozen bills to the Senate, all with the goal of improving law enforcement’s ability to fight human trafficking, and making sure victims get the help and care that they need to come back from the abuse they suffer.

The Senate introduced its own bill, called the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. Sponsored by Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX), the JVTA has similar goals to the House bills described above, and passed out of the Judiciary Committee in February with unanimous bipartisan support. Now, however, Democrats are attempting to throw the bill away over what they argue are “anti-choice” provisions that use the Hyde Amendment to prevent money placed into a victims’ restitution fund from being spent on abortions.

That’s right—Democrats are throwing modern day slaves under the bus, and playing politics with the lives of abused and abandoned men, women, and children.

The kicker? We only need six Democrats to turn their backs on the the gamesmanship and vote in favor of the bill.

From Senator Cornyn’s floor speech:

“To our colleagues who are filibustering this legislation, are you prepared to turn your back on the thousands of people living every day in bondage and who are desperately clinging to the hope that someone, someone will lend them a helping hand? Are you prepared to abandon these children and these other victims of human trafficking who deserve a roof over their head, someone to lean on, and somehow, some way to get a fresh start in life?”

“We need six brave Democrats, six brave Democrats to join all the Republicans on this side to keep hope alive for these victims of human trafficking. We need six Democrats who are willing to break away from the tyranny of their party’s own leadership here in the Senate and do what they know is the right thing to do.”

It’s beyond the pale, even for Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said that the final vote approving Loretta Lynch as the next Attorney General will remain on hold until Democrats help pass the JVTA.

But knowing Harry Reid’s caucus, we could be in for a very long battle.


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