On July 26, 2022 Colorado House Rep. Lauren Boebert voted against the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022 HR 6552, which continues funding the Department of State and Department of Justice to combat human sex trafficking internationally through fiscal year 2026.
The law has been in place since 2020.
The bill sailed through the House on a vote of 401 to 20. The 20 who voted against it were all Republicans and included Ken Buck of Colorado, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Louis Gohmert (R-TX).
Boebert also joined Rep Matt Gaetz of Florida in opposing the bill.
Gaetz has been under investigation since 2020 for an alleged sexual relationship with an underage girl and in which he paid her to travel with him. Gaetz himself has not been charged so far, but Gaetz’s associate, Joel Greenberg, whom Gaetz once referred to as his “wingman”— has plead guilty to six charges, including sex trafficking a minor.
Rep. Boebert’s office said she voted against the bill for two reasons:
- “The bill did not include a budget mechanism to pay for it.” [NOTE: This was a reauthorization measure, so budget mechanism to fund it has already long been in place, since the bill was first passed in 2000.]
- Rep. Boebert also pointed to the following section, 4(D)(ii), as a reason to vote against it. It states the bill would “give additional priority to local educational agencies that partner with non-profit organizations specializing in human trafficking prevention education, law enforcement, and technology or social media companies, to assist in training efforts to protect children from labor trafficking and sexual exploitation and abuse including grooming, materials depicting the sexual abuse of children, and human trafficking transmitted through technology.”