WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 27, 2018) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement after the House passed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 1865), sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO).
“I think about my own kids and the absolute horror that other parents must feel at the thought of their children being advertised for sale online. Thankfully, in my district, we have organizations like the Coalition to Abolish Human Trafficking, HRC Ministries, the Jonah Project, the Broadway Flying J, Partners with Family and Children, Lutheran Community Services, and other faith-based organizations working to put a stop to these barbaric and heartbreaking crimes. However, there is more that we can do at all levels of government to keep these crimes from happening in the first place.
“We cannot let websites, like Backpage.com, jeopardize the safety of our children because they turn a blind eye to sex trafficking online. Rep. Wagner’s legislation will enhance criminal enforcement efforts and give federal, state, and local prosecutors the tools they need to bring cases against bad actors on the dark web.
“As I’ve said before, the best way we can provide justice to victims of such heinous crimes is by giving them the assurances that it will never happen again. That’s why the House is taking additional action today to hold those who facilitate these crimes fully accountable under the law.”
Note: Today, Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of this legislation. You can watch her remarks here:
Rep. McMorris Rodgers also voted in support of Rep. Mimi Walters’ amendment to the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (H.R. 1865), which ensures that survivors can bring claims against websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking and allows states to use their sex trafficking laws to hold these websites accountable. Additionally, it allows state Attorneys General to bring civil actions on behalf of trafficking victims.