How Everybody Wins In The Trafficking Deal That’ll Confirm Loretta Lynch

WASHINGTON — Senate leaders reached a deal Tuesday to resolve a bitter month-long impasse over a bill to combat human trafficking. It’ll also pave the way to confirm Loretta Lynch as the next U.S. attorney general after five months of waiting.

“I’m glad we can say there is a bipartisan proposal that will allow us to complete action on this important legislation so we can provide help to the victims who desperately need it,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). “As soon as we finish the trafficking bill, as I’ve indicated for some time now, we’ll move to the President’s nominee for attorney general—hopefully in the next day or so.”

The dispute at hand was about language that would forbid trafficking victims to use compensation funds collected from perpetrators to get an abortion. Democrats complained that it was an expansion of longstanding anti-abortion restrictions because it applied to private money, not taxpayer funds.

So the deal says victims can use compensation funds for legal aid and a separate pool of taxpayer money for medical services, according to leadership aides. Hyde Amendment restrictions on abortion (with narrow exceptions for rape, incest and to protect the mother’s life) apply.

“The agreement we have in place isn’t perfect, but it ensures that the Hyde language will not be applied to non-taxpayer funds,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood leader Cecile Richards praised Democrats for having “held the line” in preventing abortion restrictions “from being extended even further into other funding streams.”

In essence, everybody wins.

Republicans win because they didn’t cave on abortion. The decades-long restrictions on government funds in connection to abortion apply.

Democrats win because they can claim they defeated a Republican sneak-attack to expand abortion restrictions, which progressives feared would set a dangerous precedent.

Trafficking victims win because the legislation, if it becomes law, would provide law enforcement with more resources to fight the crimes committed against them.

Loretta Lynch wins because she can now become the first African-American female to serve as the country’s top cop.

Eric Holder, who has been stuck in a job he wanted to leave five months ago, wins because he can finally move on with his life.

And McConnell wins because the fierce criticism directed at him — including from Republicans and nonpartisan observers — for delaying the Lynch nomination will end.

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