Bills of Interest

On the federal level, there are numerous bills going through the lawmaking process in regard to anti-human trafficking efforts on a national level. Read about the latest pieces of legislation.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is the Senate sponsor of the PROTECT Act. Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas-Dist. 4, is the House sponsor of the PROTECT Act. (Pictured left to right).

This bill amends the federal criminal code to specify that supplying, furnishing or providing a drug or substance to a person, including to exploit or create an addiction, constitutes coercion for purposes of a child sex trafficking offense and coercive means for purposes of a forced labor offense.

INTRODUCED IN HOUSE: Feb. 14, 2018, referred to House Committee on Judiciary Feb. 12, 2019, referred to subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security and Investigations

INTRODUCED IN SENATE: Feb. 14,2018, referred to Committee on the Judiciary Action

HOUSE SPONSOR: Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX-4)

HOUSE CO-SPONSORS: Rep. Kathleen M. Rice (D-NY-4

SENATE SPONSOR: Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

SENATE CO-SPONSORS: Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL); Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH); Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC); Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Sen. Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH)

READ FULL BILL HERE.

READ FACT SHEET ON PROTECT ACT.

NOTE: This bill was introduced in the previous Congress and did not progress.

The Put Trafficking Victims First Act of 2019 requires that law enforcement put aside money that is received to combat human trafficking to ensure victims receive support that is trauma-informed and victim-centered. It addresses expanding victim services; improving data collection on human trafficking; and effective ways to identify and work with victims. This bill also directs the attorney general to form a working group to assess the status of data collection and to recommend best practices. Once the working group identifies best practices the attorney general is to implement a pilot project, testing methodologies identified by the group. The final aspect of the bill says states should implement trauma-informed and victim-centered care for victims.

Introduced: Jan. 11, 2019, passed by House 414-1 on Feb. 7, 2019, referred to Committee on Judiciary in the Senate Feb. 11, 2019

This bill is now in the Senate.

Sponsor: Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA-37)

Co-sponsors: Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO-2); Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-9); Rep. Brian K. Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1); Rep. Yvette D. Clark (D-NY-9); Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI-1); Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC-8); Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29)

READ FULL BILL.

READ ABOUT REP. KAREN BASS’S AND REP. ANN WAGNER’S WORK TO PASS THIS BILL THROUGH THE HOUSE TO THE SENATE.

This bill would direct federal banking regulators to work with law enforcement and financial institutions to counteract the use of the financial systems for human trafficking. It increases collaboration with law enforcement and experts in financial crimes by adding officers to the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking in Persons and requires the task force to develop recommendations to Congress and regulators that would strengthen anti-money laundering programs to target traffickers. This bill also keeps survivors in mind and advocates for survivors to serve as stakeholders and provide feedback to the U.S. Treasury, and ensures that banks are not allowed to restrict victims of human trafficking to access bank accounts.

INTRODUCED: Jan. 8, 2019, referred to Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Financial Services; March 7, 2019, passes Foreign Affair Committee

SPONSOR: Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1)

CO-SPONSORS: Rep. William R. Keating (D-MA-9); Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10); Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12); Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC-3); Rep. Jennifer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR-AT LARGE); Rep. James Sensebrenner, Jr. (R-WI-5); Rep. Guy Reschethaller (R-PA-14); Rep. John Curtis (R-UT-3); Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL-19); Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL-18); Rep. Randy K. Weber (R-TX-14); Rep. Ted S. Yoho (R-FL-3); Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA-10); Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY-5); Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI-1); Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA-30); Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ-8); Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX-6); Rep. Omar Ilhan (D-MN-5); Rep. Abigail Davis Spanberger (D-VA-7); Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2)

READ FULL BILL HERE.

READ ABOUT WHY REP. BRIAN FITZPATRICK SPONSORED THIS BILL.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger

This bill amends the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 to include a directive that the Attorney General provide preference to grant applicants that include attestations that funds awarded to a state or law enforcement agency will be used, in part, to assist in strengthening efforts to reduce demand for human trafficking through investigation and prosecution of buyers and persons who solicit for commercial sex.

 

Introduced: Jan. 10, 2019, referred to Committee on Judiciary – subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security

Sponsor: Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL-16)

 Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL-2); Rep. Henry “Hank” C. Johnson, Jr. (D-GA-4); Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO-2); Rep. Susan W. Brooks (R-IN-5); Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX-26); Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY-22)

READ FULL BILL HERE.

READ WHY REP. ADAM KINZINGER SPONSORED THIS BILL.

Rep. Joyce Beatty

Directs the Department of Justice to designate at least one human trafficking coordinator in each federal judicial district to implement the National Strategy for Combatting Human Trafficking and prosecute cases, conduct outreach and enforce laws related to human trafficking. Directs the Department of Justice to designate a National Human Trafficking Coordinator within the Department of Justice to coordinate and support the Department of Justice’s work related to human trafficking

Introduced: Jan. 11, 2019 referred on Feb. 25, 2019 to House Committee on the Judiciary – Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security

Sponsor: Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3)

Co-sponsor: Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO-2)

READ FULL BILL.

This bill requires that the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, in coordination with the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Administration for Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice, and in consultation with the National Advisory Committee on Sex Trafficking of Children and Youth in the United States and direct service providers and housing and homelessness practitioners, conduct a study assessing the availability and accessibility of housing and services for individuals experiencing homelessness who are victims of trafficking.

Introduced: Jan. 11, 2019, referred to House Committee on Financial Services

Sponsor: Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH-3)

Co-sponsor: Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO-2)

READ FULL BILL.

This bill requires the attorney general to establish a pilot program to provide training to federal, state, tribal, and local law enforcement officers and other relevant professionals, including first responders and child welfare professionals on child exploitation and human trafficking. The program is to be designed to train professionals and law enforcement on how to identify a potential child victim of human trafficking; identify children who are missing; identify children who are at risk of being trafficked, exploited or sexually abused; and identify people who are likely to engage in trafficking, exploitation or sexual abuse of child victims. It also requires the implementation of protocols and procedures for communicating with and providing resources to a potential child victim

INTRODUCED IN HOUSE: Jan. 29, 2019, referred to House Committee on Judiciary, March 25, 2019, referred to Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security

INTRODUCED IN SENATE: Jan. 29, 2019, referred to Committee on Judiciary

HOUSE SPONSOR: Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10)

HOUSE CO-SPONSORS: Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28); Rep. Ann Kuster (D-NH-2); Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL-2)

SENATE SPONSOR: Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

SENATE CO-SPONSORS: Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX); Sen. Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH)

READ FULL BILL.

READ WHY REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL SPONSORED INTERDICTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILD VICTIMS ACT.

READ ABOUT WHY SEN. CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO SPONSORED INTERDICTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF CHILD VICTIMS ACT.

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX-10) is the House sponsor of H.R. 836 (left). Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) is the Senate sponsor of S251. Both bills are Interdiction for the Protection of Child Victims.

This bill modifies requirements for calculating taxable income to exclude from gross income civil damages, restitution or other monetary awards granted to victims of peonage, slavery or human trafficking.

INTRODUCED IN HOUSE: Introduced Jan. 16, 2019, referred to House Committee on Ways and Means

INTRODUCED IN SENATE: Introduced Jan. 16, 2019, referred to Committee on Finance

HOUSE SPONSOR: Rep. Bradley Scott Schneider (D-IL-10)

HOUSE CO-SPONSORS: Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24); Rep. Terri A Sewell (D-AL-7); Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO-8); Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-1); Rep. Ann M. Kuster (D-NH-2); Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA-2); Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI-1)

SENATE SPONSOR: Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

SENATE CO-SPONSORS: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR); Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH); Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Sen. Shelly Moore Capito (R-WV); Sen. James Lankford (R-OK); Sen. John Boozeman (R-AR); Sen. Tom Scott (R-SC); Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-ME); Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL); Sen. Rogers Wicker (R-MS)

READ FULL BILL HERE.

READ ABOUT WHY SEN. JOHN CORNYN INTRODUCED THE BILL.

READ ABOUT WHY REP. BRADLEY SCOTT SCHNEIDER INTRODUCED THIS BILL.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Senate sponsor for the Human Trafficking Relief Act. Rep. Bradley Scott Schneider (D-IL-10), House sponsor for the Human Trafficking Survivor Relief Act

 

Write Your Legislators

STEP 1: FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVE/SENATOR:

To advocate on a legislative level, it is important to know who represents you.

FIND OUT WHO YOUR U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE IS.

FIND OUT WHO YOUR SENATORS ARE.

STEP 2: WHAT BILL DO YOU HOPE TO SEE PASSED?

Think about what bills you hope to see passed. Is that bill currently in the House of Representatives or the Senate or BOTH? Write down why you want the bill to be made into law and what great things would happen if this bill did become a law.

Step 3: CONTACT YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE.

Once you have discovered who represents you and what bills you want to focus on, it is now time to contact your representatives/senators. Contacting an elected official can seem intimidating, but these officials were elected by the people to serve the people. So let your voice be heard!

You can make the strongest impact by making an appointment to meet with your representative (or, more likely, one of their legislative aids).

Phone calls are also important. Be sure to have the number of the bill you want them to support and why it’s important to you.

Letters and emails can have an impact, as well. If you are not sure what to write, we have an easy template for you follow. GET TEMPLATE.

Our representatives won’t know what is important to us if we don’t tell them.

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