In the waning days of the lame duck session, the Senate had the opportunity to pass theDomestic Minor Sex Trafficking Deterrence and Victims Support Act. Aimed at creating “a comprehensive, victim-centered approach to addressing the sex trafficking of minors,” the bill is “the first of its kind to deal with young trafficking victims domestically” by providing $12 million in off-set funding for state and local law enforcement to shelter, rehabilitate, prevent, and protect child victims of the sex trade.
Originally introduced by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John Cornyn (R-TX) in 2009, the Senate Judiciary Committee adopted, amended, and passed the House version of this bill last summer which then passed the Senate by unanimous consent on December 9, 2010. The bill returned to the House, underwent further revision, and finally passed by voice vote on December 21, 2010. But when the Senate attempted to pass the bill again by unanimous consent, Sen. Jeff Sessions put a hold on the bill. The sole objector, Sessions effectively defeated its passage in the 111th Congress.
Along with filibuster reform, we also need to get rid of this crap where a single senator can defeat a measure by doing these holds. This has to be the most un-democratic thing ever.