Tags: Homeland Security | Mitch McConnell | human trafficking | bill | Democrats | filibuster | need

McConnell: Dems With 'Courage' Can End Impasse on Trafficking Bill

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 07:05 PM

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday called on Democrats with "courage" and "conscience" to end their filibuster of a human-trafficking bill over an amendment that party members charge would expand restrictions on federal funds used for abortions.

"It’s time for Democrats of courage to finally bring their party’s filibuster of anti-slavery legislation to an end," the Kentucky Republican said on the Senate floor. "A large bipartisan majority of the Senate has already demonstrated its commitment to doing so.

"All that’s needed now are a couple more Democrats to join us," he said. "This has gone on long enough.

"It’s time for senators of conscience to stand up and end this filibuster now," McConnell said.

Senate Democrats have been blocking a vote on a bipartisan bill to end human trafficking. It includes the so-called Hyde amendment, which Congress renews every year and which bars federal funds from being used for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is endangered.

In a 2010 executive order, President Barack Obama said the Hyde language and other regulations also prohibit community health centers "from using federal funds to provide abortion services" except for the Hyde amendment's exemptions.

The amendment has been routinely attached to annual appropriations legislation since the 1970s. But some Democrats now say Republicans are trying to add it to unrelated bills — in this case, the trafficking proposal — to extend its impact.

McConnell has said the trafficking bill must be resolved before the Senate can vote on Obama's nomination of Loretta Lynch for attorney general. She is expected to be approved — and Lynch would become the first African-American female in the position.

Lynch, 55, is the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

The House approved the trafficking bill in January.

"It’s unconscionable for anyone to continue filibustering this human-rights bill over a principle that’s been a fixture in federal law for decades," McConnell said Wednesday.

"Human trafficking is a serious problem in our country," he added. "It’s hard for a lot of people to believe, but it occurs in every single state."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday called on Democrats with courage and conscience to end their filibuster of a human trafficking bill over an amendment that party members charge would expand restrictions on federal funds used for abortions.
Mitch McConnell, human trafficking, bill, Democrats, filibuster, need, courage, pass
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2015-05-15
Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 07:05 PM
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