Pa. Republican Congressman Scott Perry Votes Against Anti-Human Trafficking Bill

Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., questions Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday April 28, 2022, to review the U.S. Department of State's foreign policy priorities and fiscal year 2023 budget request. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

By Patrick Berkery

August 3, 2022

The US Rep. from Dauphin County joined 19 other Republicans in voting against the measure, including Florida’s Matt Gaetz, who is under investigation for sex trafficking involving a minor.

Just because Scott Perry hasn’t been making headlines recently (he can probably thank a summer break in the Jan. 6 hearings for that), doesn’t mean he has suddenly stopped aligning himself with other far-right lawmakers standing in the way of democracy and human rights.

Perry, the five-term Republican US Rep. from Dauphin County, recently voted against anti-human trafficking legislation that would improve programs including shelters, mental health care, and education and job skills training for victims of human trafficking. 

He was the only Republican Pennsylvania congressman to vote against the measure.

The Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act passed the House in a 401-20 vote. All 20 votes against the measure were cast by Republicans, including Florida congressman Matt Gaetz, who is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice for sex trafficking allegations involving a minor.

The bill Perry and 19 other Republicans voted against would:

  • Allocate more than $1.1 billion over five years to reapprove and bolster programs created under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
  • Allocate $35 million annually for housing to help women living with their abusers separate themselves, and to help prevent trafficking of graduated foster youth.
  • Reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security’s Angel Watch Center to prevent international sex tourism travel perpetrated by child sex offenders, and improve trafficking prevention education for children by including parents and law enforcement in child trafficking and online grooming prevention.
  • Prioritize funding for local educational agencies operating in high-intensity sex trafficking areas, locations with significant child labor trafficking, and nonprofit organizations focused on human trafficking prevention education. 

The bill now advances to the Senate, where it is expected to receive strong bipartisan support.


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