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S. 1536, Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, December 20, 2017, the House will consider S. 1536, the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act, under suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on July 12, 2017, by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. On September 14, 2017, the bill passed the Senate without amendment by Unanimous Consent.


Summary

S. 1536 directs the Secretary of Transportation to designate a human trafficking prevention coordinator from within the Department.  The bill expands the scope of activities authorized under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) outreach and education program and commercial driver’s license program implementation grants to include human trafficking prevention activities. S. 1536 also directs the Secretary to establish an advisory committee on human trafficking.


Background

Human trafficking, particularly sex trafficking, is known to be present at commercially operated truck stops and State-operated rest areas throughout the United States. Given their remoteness and insulation from communities, these locations can be convenient places for sex traffickers to operate with minimal concerns of detection. The frequent movement of these victims aids traffickers both in maintaining control and avoiding law enforcement. Other forms of human trafficking, such as labor trafficking, have a presence in these locations as well.[1]

Nonprofit organizations like Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) have made substantial progress in spreading awareness of areas where human trafficking and the trucking industry intersect. Their efforts have resulted in increased reporting of trafficking incidents by truckers who can act as ‘eyes and ears'' on roads nationwide. S. 1536 would provide additional tools to educate truckers and enlist their cooperation in preventing these crimes, while providing greater coordination between modal administrations of the Department of Transportation (DOT) to centralize efforts in combating human trafficking.[2]


Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting S. 1536 would not affect direct spending or revenues.  It estimates that implementing the provisions of the bill would cost $1 million over the 2018-2022 period, assuming availability of appropriated funds.


Staff Contact

For questions or further information please contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 2-1374.


[1] See Senate Report 115-177 at 1.
[2] Id.

115th Congress