WASHINGTON, D.C.— Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) issued the following statement on the House passage of S.178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA). JVTA passed the House with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 420-3. The bill passed the Senate unanimously in April.

“In a time of seemingly endless partisan gridlock there is one thing we can all agree on: our children are not for sale,” said Congressman Poe.  “It is hard to believe in the year 2015, there are people living in modern day slavery in America. But that is reality. Human trafficking is a criminal enterprise that exists in cities across the nation, especially in my hometown of Houston, Texas. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act (JVTA) implements a robust and aggressive strategy to help combat human trafficking in the United States. After years of hard work on this issue, Congress has taken a historic and necessary step today to help end modern day slavery in America.  I look forward to President Obama signing JVTA into law so that we can finally help eradicate this scourge.”

“I am pleased to see this important legislation to help victims of human trafficking take another step forward,” said Senator Cornyn. “I want to thank my partners in the House of Representatives for their hard work and look forward to President Obama signing this critical bill.”

“The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act will provide restitution to the survivors of human trafficking and punish those who profit from this horrific crime,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “It is a harsh reality that sexual slavery persists across America. With this legislation, Congress has taken a firm stand against the pimps and Johns and for women and children.  It has been a privilege to work with Congressman Ted Poe, who as a judge learned first-hand of the destructive nature of these crimes. He has been an unyielding advocate in his work to help the survivors rebuild their lives. I look forward to President Obama signing this legislation into law.”