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Anti-Trafficking Deal Clears Way for Lynch Vote

04-20-2015

An anti-trafficking bill is set to clear a weeks-long logjam in the Senate after Republicans and Democrats struck a deal.

The legislation creates a new fund to help trafficking victims, made up of fees paid by sex criminals.

Democrats had blocked the original bill because it prevented the funding from being used for abortions. They argued that the GOP has launched a secret attempt to create new restrictions on abortion funding.

Republicans argued it was merely an extension of an existing law known as the Hyde Amendment.

Planned Parenthood is praising the compromise bill, saying it stops the Hyde Amendment from being applied in new areas of funding.

The deal, struck by Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., creates two sources of money for the victims' fund.

In the first source, money collected from the fines assessed on criminal perpetrators would be used for services such as legal aid, but not health or medical services.

In the second source, money already appropriated by Congress for Community Health Centers, which is already subject to abortion spending restrictions, would be available for health and medical services for the victims.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,R-Ky. announced that once the trafficking bill is out of the way, the Senate will move ahead on other stalled matters, like the approval of President Barack Obama's Attorney General-nominee Loretta Lynch.

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