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WASHINGTONU.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) today issued the following statement after Senate Democrats escalated their filibuster of bipartisan legislation to fight human trafficking and give justice to victims of this heinous crime:

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act can save lives. It can restore dignity to the victims of these heinous crimes. And it can help end modern day slavery. But we won’t have the additional tools this bill creates if Minority Leader Reid keeps blocking efforts to move it forward.

We could pass this bill within hours if the Democrat leadership would drop its manufactured outrage over language that has been in the bill since its introduction—language that has been applied to similar legislation for decades.

The bottom line is we can save lives with this bipartisan bill. We can’t do that though if Minority Leader Reid continues to play partisan politics with it.”

Background: S.178, The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, was introduced by U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). It was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a bipartisan manner through regular committee process. Since that point, Senate Democrats have repeatedly threatened to block the bill from full Senate consideration over language they object to, despite having previously offered their support of the bill. For the past four decades, the language, referred to as the “Hyde Amendment” has been attached to applicable bills that have become laws, including many Democrat-led initiatives including Obamacare. As a result of these delay tactics, the Senate failed to get cloture on The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act by a vote of 55-43. The Senate did not get the needed 60 votes to advance the trafficking bill to a vote for final passage. Only four Democrats joined with Republicans to vote to advance the bill. Boozman is a cosponsor of The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.