There was never any doubt that the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act would pass. The only question was whether anyone would oppose it.
The answer turned out to be surprising. USA Today reported:
Twenty Republicans on Wednesday voted against legislation that would reauthorize programs to combat human trafficking. The bill, called the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022, passed the House by a tally of 401-20.
This bill updates an earlier version that was approved more than two decades ago with almost no opposition. Indeed, there just aren’t many objectionable provisions in the bill.
As a report in The Hill explained, the anti-human trafficking bill builds on the existing system, focusing resources on local agencies operating in high-intensity sex-trafficking areas, while reauthorizing the Department of Homeland Security’s Angel Watch Center, which is meant to prevent international sex tourism travel perpetrated by child sex offenders.
The same report added that the bill would invest new funds for housing options that would help women get away from abusers.
And yet, these 20 Republicans, each of whom knew the measure would pass, voted against it:
- Brian Babin of Texas
- Andy Biggs of Arizona
- Lauren Boebert of Colorado
- Mo Brooks of Alabama
- Ken Buck of Colorado
- Andrew Clyde of Georgia
- Matt Gaetz of Florida
- Louie Gohmert of Texas
- Paul Gosar of Arizona
- Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia
- Andy Harris of Maryland
- Jody Hice of Georgia
- Thomas Massie of Kentucky
- Tom McClintock of California
- Mary Miller of Illinois
- Troy Nehls of Texas
- Ralph Norman of South Carolina
- Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
- Chip Roy of Texas
- Van Taylor of Texas
There are, to be sure, some familiar names on this list, but the fact that Gaetz opposed an anti-human trafficking proposal was especially notable because the Florida Republican is reportedly under investigation — for alleged sex trafficking.
A spokesperson for the controversial congressman told USA Today that Gaetz believes the bill would, among other things, “act as a backdoor loophole for illegal immigration and amnesty.”
It’s a conclusion 401 of his colleagues, including 183 Republicans, apparently disagreed with.