Senate Dem Concedes GOP Not to Blame for Human Trafficking Bill Implosion

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising not to allow a confirmation vote on Loretta Lynch for attorney general until the bill passes.

By Published on March 19, 2015

The reason Senate Democrats claim they’re obstructing an anti-human trafficking bill is looking especially questionable Wednesday, after Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office admitted one of her staffers noticed the language weeks ago.

Democrats accused Republicans of sneaking language into the bill that bans federal dollars from being used to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother. They are refusing to allow a vote until the language is removed. But Klobuchar admitted Tuesday one of her staffers did see the language weeks ago.

The staffer “had seen the language,” but “did not inform the senator,” Julia Krahe, a spokesperson for Klobuchar, told The Associated Press. It’s unclear whether the staffer told any outside groups or other staffers.

“The senator takes responsibility for the work of her office and missing the provision and she is focused on moving forward to find a way to fix the bill and protect victims of trafficking,” the spokesperson added.

So far the Democrats way of taking responsibility has been to blame Republicans for hiding the provision and to demand the language be removed from the bill before allowing it to proceed.

The language of the bill has been publicly available for months, and made it through the committee process with unanimous bipartisan support. It’s been a standard addition to spending bills for decades.

It’s unclear why a staffer would have noticed the language and not told Sen. Klobuchar about it. Her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is using the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as attorney general as leverage in the fight over the trafficking bill, promising not to allow a confirmation vote until the bill passes.

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