Deal on Human Trafficking Bill Paves Way for Lynch Vote This Week

Senate Republicans and Democrats have struck a deal on a human trafficking bill that will also allow speedy consideration of Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch.

Republican authors of a bill to assist victims of human trafficking have agreed to separate funding so that federal funding is not used to pay for abortion services.

According to Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, the money has been split so that restrictions on abortion do not apply to fees collected for the victims, which Democrats said constituted an expansion of abortion limitations. The segregated fund would pay for law enforcement services and shelters, not medical services.

Money for medical services for the victims would be fenced off in a fund furnished by taxpayer money. Federal restrictions on abortion funding would apply to that fund.

This is a way to eliminate extraneous provision and still keep the spirit of this bill,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a main negotiator, said when the deal was announced.