Senate To Pass Human Trafficking Law, Likely Clearing The Way For A Vote On Loretta Lynch For AG
The Senate looks to have come to a deal on a human trafficking bill that stalled over funding, which means a vote on Loretta Lynch for Attorney General could be just a couple of days away.
The disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over the trafficking bill concerned a restriction in the bill that would have further expanded curbs on spending for abortions. (Dems were against the restriction.)
“Those federal funds are already subject to abortion restrictions on government funding through the four decade-old Hyde Amendment, which is usually attached as a rider to spending bills and as a result, has to be approved annually,” notes The Wall Street Journal.
Fines collected from those found guilty of trafficking will go to the Treasury Department for things like legal aid. And services for survivors will be provided through community health centers that received funding through a bill that passed last week. (You can watch this clip from The Daily Show to get the Jon Stewart take on that bit of legislation.)
So now that that’s taken care of, we may finally get a vote on Lynch’s nomination, which President Obama made back in November. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said it could be in the next day or two. Last week, Lynch supporters vowed to go on a hunger strike until she’s confirmed.
“Fifty-one senators have publicly stated their support for Lynch, likely assuring her confirmation once McConnell brings it to the floor. Most Republicans, however, continue to oppose her — most of them citing her support for President Obama’s authority to take executive action on immigration,” says The Washington Post.
There are likely to be amendments to the trafficking bill, but the Senate is under pressure to actually get things done. The 113th Congress (ending in December) was very nearly the least productive in history.