Believe it or not, Congress is nearing the end zone of its current session. The U.S. Senate has only eight work weeks left in 2017; the House, just seven.
Busy campaign schedules during the 2018 election year, when voters decide on all of the House and 34 Senate seats, mean few bills will move. This makes the next few weeks pivotal — and packed with priorities.
Most media discussion about the fall agenda centers on tax reform, immigration and must-pass funding bills. Meanwhile, leading nonprofit groups focused on justice issues are urging action on certain bills with high potential to save lives.
1. Combating Sex Trafficking at Home and Abroad
The scandal surrounding Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s serial sexual harassment has put the exploitation of women on the front pages. Perhaps it’ll push the Senate to act on domestic sex trafficking. On July 12, Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., led a bipartisan coalition to pass the Empowering Law Enforcement to Fight Sex Trafficking Demand Act. Thus far, the Senate has taken no action.
The proposed law would grant funding to the Dept. of Justice to better enforce efforts against sexual predators — usually men abusing women and children. “My bill addresses the epidemic of sex trafficking by giving police officers the resources they need to go after the criminals behind these terrible crimes,” says Hartzler.
A nonprofit that stands against the illegal sex industry, Demand Abolition backs the bill. Actress Ashley Judd, one of Weinstein’s accusers, is part of the group’s advisory council. Several bills have also been introduced to combat global sex trafficking. Some provisions are expected to be folded into year-end appropriations bills.
Read more at the Stream – https://stream.org/5-life-saving-justice-bills-currently-stalled-congress/