How Congress manages to kill a bill all its members support

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, right, is the lead Republican sponsor of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

Democrats say this amendment would apply the abortion ban not just to taxpayer dollars but fees paid by prosecuted criminals, and it would essentially take effect permanently for those funds. When it’s attached to budget bills, Congress has to pass the Hyde Amendment on an annual basis.

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Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 03/13/2015 - 11:08 am.

    Once again

    …insert heavy sigh. I’ll be surprised if – just as Florida has banned, or at least tried to ban, use of the term “climate change” by its own environmental department – somewhere a state department of education doesn’t issue a ban on the use of the term “dysfunctional” to describe the national legislature.

  2. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 03/13/2015 - 11:48 am.

    Let’s be very clear here, this is a Republican Senate and while it is great to have Sen. Klobuchar taking a bipartisan lead on this bill, it is being run through a Republican committee structure and a Republican Senate Majority Leader. If they mess this up with their endless abortion politics, its on the Republicans. Period.

  3. Submitted by David LaPorte on 03/13/2015 - 12:54 pm.

    Protecting those who don’t deserve protection

    While I don’t agree with it, I can understand the logic behind banning the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions since this is something that’s abhorrent to some taxpayers. By the same logic, I shouldn’t have to pay for capital punishment, since that’s abhorrent to me. But apparently my sensitivities don’t count.

    What I DON’T understand is why fines paid by sex traffickers are treated in the same way. Do THEY find abortion abhorrent? And, if they do, why do we care?

    This is a thinly veiled attempt to deny abortions to the victims of sex trafficking. Anti-abortion fanatics always seem to target the most vulnerable populations.

    • Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 03/13/2015 - 01:11 pm.

      I think your final paragraph is exactly correct.

      It would seem that the GOP suspects that as victims of sex-trafficking are able to escape their terrible situations, there might be some instances where they may want or need an abortion due to their having been sexually abused. And we can’t have compassion for that wrenching situation and actually, as a society, pay to have a raped girl terminate a pregnancy conceived under violent and horrifying conditions. Oh, no.

      The message seems fairly clear to me. Clearly punitive in making the victim once again be a victim of domination and control by random men.

  4. Submitted by Mike Downing on 03/13/2015 - 04:28 pm.


    MinnPost would have more credibility if you would recall Harry Reid’s nuclear option and how divisive the last Democratic Senate was. Perhaps the solution in the Senate would be for McConnell to change Senate rules so that the Bill passes.
    Fair is fair…

  5. Submitted by Mike Downing on 03/13/2015 - 04:28 pm.


    MinnPost would have more credibility if you would recall Harry Reid’s nuclear option and how divisive the last Democratic Senate was. Perhaps the solution in the Senate would be for McConnell to change Senate rules so that the Bill passes.
    Fair is fair…

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/13/2015 - 05:24 pm.

      Senate Rules

      What do Senate Rules have to do with anything here? Are the Republicans acting like children, out to get revenge because their feelings got hurt? I find that completely plausible, but your insight is welcome.

      I’m also unclear as to why anything Senator Reid did relates to what Senator McConnell is doing today. I know he’s pretty much an empty suit, but are you saying he has no agency of his own? Again, plausible, but I would like to hear your thinking on it. Frankly, I don’t like the idea of a Congress that is governed by its grievances against a prior majority, but that seems to be today’s Republican Party.

      The Senate Rules have always provided that only a simple majority is needed to pass bills, unless there is a constitutional supermajority requirement. Republicans resorted to the filibuster (probably because the Democrats were being all mean and divisive) so often that the 60 vote threshold became the de facto requirement to pass bills. The nuclear option–overruling Senate precedents by a majority vote–was not a creation of Senator Reid. It has been around, by different names, for almost 100 years. While the threat of the option was buzzed about, if poorly understood, the only time a majority changed anything without bipartisan consent was when the filibuster was eliminated for appointments other than Supreme Court appointments.

  6. Submitted by cory johnson on 03/14/2015 - 09:50 am.

    Let’s report the whole story…..

    The language has always been in the bill. Even when it passed unanimously through committee. For the Democrats to pretend the language was inserted later or they just noticed it is beyond belief. This is nothing but a fundraising stunt by the democrats. They want to whip up their base by creating a story where there wasn’t one. Too bad the their leadership doesn’t care if a good bill gets killed in the process.

    • Submitted by Dan Hintz on 03/14/2015 - 03:36 pm.


      The bill was advanced as being the same bill from last year, which did not have the language in it. The Republicans added the language to to the bill this year, which the Democrats did not notice initially. There is no pretending, nothing “beyond belief,” and the whole story has, in fact, been reported.

      This bill got stopped because Republicans don’t think abortion is appropriate even for women who became pregnant as a result of being forced into prostitution. That is the whole story.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 03/15/2015 - 09:19 am.

      Moral of the story

      So the moral of the story here is: Since someone didn’t catch the trickery first time around, lets now pass bad legislation? We know the trickery is part of the dysfunctional agenda for the next election cycle to create twisted and dishonest campaign add, can see it already so and so voted against the sex trafficking law!
      Now you know why we find many politicians so despicable, they will stoop to any low, in this case burdening sex-trafficking slaves in order to forward their personal agendas.

  7. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 03/14/2015 - 12:35 pm.

    Preganancies of sexually traffic women

    Women who are being trafficked are not choosing or get pregnant, but are sexual slaves due to the greedy criminal behavior of men. That means that sex trafficking amounts to rape,.committed by the pimp and.the.john. Reasonable Republicans.make mercy exceptions for rape and incest. Obviously, they should consider doing so for pregnancies resulting from the crime of sex trafficking.

  8. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/16/2015 - 08:39 am.

    Block it

    The fault is attributable to those who want to sneak that passage into every stinking thing. It’s particularly heinous given the nature of the issue–abuse and torture via sex acts. This is non-consensual intercourse. Not a choice to get pregnant or neglect to NOT get pregnant. Money that is allocated to support victims of sex trafficking should, in part, provide access to abortion, if necessary. That being said, I find it disturbing that our congresscritters believe that FINES are sufficient for sex trafficking criminals. And, if something more than fines are involved, that fines would actually even be collected. This is the sort of justice that will not pay for itself. Rather, it should be viewed as a way to identify individuals who have no right to the support of civilization.

  9. Submitted by Bill Willy on 03/16/2015 - 11:06 am.

    No taxpayer (or thug fine) funding for abortions?


    1) the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.

    2) an object or undertaking regarded by the speaker as unpleasant or badly made or carried out.

    “The AGM-114 Hellfire is an air-to-surface missile (ASM) first developed for anti-armor use , but later models were developed for precision strikes against other target types, such as, in the case of a Predator drone, individuals or groups of individuals.”

    “Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International criticize US drone program, question its legality

    “Among the six strikes detailed by Human Rights Watch is an attack in Sarar, in central Yemen on Sept. 2, 2012, in which two warplanes or drones attacked a minibus, KILLING A PREGNANT WOMAN, three children and eight other people. The report said the apparent target, tribal leader Abd al-Raouf al-Dahab, was not in the vehicle.”

    “In May 2006, A PREGNANT WOMAN – Nahiba Jassim – was killed in a checkpoint shooting. She was being rushed to the maternity hospital in Samarra when the car was fired upon at a checkpoint; also killed was a cousin, Saliha Hassan.”

    “Half-Million Iraqis Died in the War, New Study Says”

    “War and occupation directly and indirectly claimed the lives of about a HALF-MILLION Iraqis from 2003 to 2011, according to a groundbreaking survey of 1,960 Iraqi households…

    “‘People need to know the cost in human lives of the decision to go to war.”

    How many of those half-million people were pregnant women? How many pregnant Iraqi women and their unborn babies were killed in the “Shock and Awe” campaign? How many by “smart bombs,” or not so smart bombs, that hit the wrong targets? How many by American tank shells, rockets, mortar shells, and fully-automatic assault weapons in the hands of U.S. soldiers firing on the commerical and government buildings and houses of ordinary citizens in the cities and towns of Iraq in the high-powered hunt for the Evil Doers that threatened America’s National Security?

    No one will ever know, but there’s no doubt that the lives of many pregnant women and their unborn babies, as well as the lives of countless defenseless children, have been ABORTED by U.S. Military personnel, equipment and munitions that have ALL been paid for with taxpayer dollars.

    Taxpayer dollars contibuted by “Pro Life” and “Pro Choice” American citizens alike. The taxpayer dollars of Democrats, Republicans, conservatives, liberals, tea party people, progressives, Libertarians, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, you name it…

    ALL our taxpayer dollars are paying for the abortions that are performed in explosive instants that vaporize pregnant women, their unborn babies, defenseless children and innocent bystanding full grown men and other women, any time we Americans unleash our taxpayer funded war machine on the world.

    And now, in yet another stab at proving the Moral Superiority of the Conservative Republican Way, young women and girls (mostly) trapped in a hell that mainly consists of very strange ruthless men forcing them (with regular, everyday, terroristic threats, beatings, etc.) to have totally revolting sex with totally revolting men as many times a day, week, month as possible, will just have to wait a little longer “to be rescued” because something that could help them is being held hostage by those wanting to make sure none of any money associated with that help (or anything else) is used to pay for abortions.

    “The Senate is out for the weekend, and unless something changes, it will return to a stalemate on human trafficking.”

    Have a nice weekend, girls.


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