The recent passage of the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022 (HR6552) by the United States House of Representatives was a victory for victims and survivors of the unlawful act of human trafficking. HR6552 supports activities and programs that fight human trafficking and also supports survivors of human trafficking.
The basic definition of human trafficking is the act of transporting or coercing people in order to benefit from their work or service, typically in the form of forced labor or sexual exploitation. Human traffickers will typically target those most at-risk such as runaway teens, the homeless and unaccompanied minors that do not have the safety and protection of a loving home.
The Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act (primary sponsor Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey) was overwhelmingly passed in the house by a 401-20 vote. HR6552 will help protect some of society’s most vulnerable in their time of greatest need.
The 20 representatives voting against HR6552 included:
- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from Georgia, who has suggested on Facebook that California wildfires in 2018 were caused by a space laser. Rep. Greene also suggested that the horrific 9/11 attack was staged by the U.S. government;
- QAnon aficionado Rep. Lauren Bobert from Colorado;
- Rep. Louie Gohmert from Texas, who Republican campaign strategist Steve Smith has labeled “America’s craziest and dumbest congressman”; and
- Rep. Andrew Clyde from Georgia, who dismissed the Jan. 6th riot inside the Capital as “a normal tourists visit.”
It is ironic that Rep. Matt Gaetz from Florida also voted against HR6552. According to USA Today, Gaetz is under federal investigation and facing accusations of sexually trafficking a 17-year-old. In the same USA Today report, Gaetz denied wrongdoing and claims the investigation is an attempt to extort him and his family.
It also is noteworthy that locally familiar and respected Reps. Darin LaHood and Rodney Davis of Illinois both voted yes to pass. I extend my respect and gratitude to LaHood and Davis, as well to the 399 other representatives who chose to support HR6552.
The list of 20 people voting against HR6552 reads like a who’s who of most crazy in Congress.
The greatest disappointment for me was that the list of no voters included Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois, who defeated Davis in the June 28 Republican primary and is the Republican candidate for representative for the 15th District in the Nov. 8 general election. The 15th District is the newly gerrymandered district that includes Adams County.
Barring some dramatic events, Miller will probably be elected Nov. 8 to represent my district in the U.S. Congress. If Miller’s vote against HR6552, along with the 19 toxic reps she has aligned herself with, is an accurate indicator of what we can expect from her in the future, then Nov. 8 will be a truly sad day for the citizens of the 15th District.
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