What: All Issues : Health Care : Funds for Combating AIDS, Domestic : A vote on passage of a Republican amendment which would ensure that no money appropriated in FY05 to fund the Commerce, Justice and State departments (H.R. 4754) would be used to promote legalization of prostitution or sex trafficking, and that no funds would be allotted to any group or organization that does not have a policy that is explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking. (2004 house Roll Call 340)
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A vote on passage of a Republican amendment which would ensure that no money appropriated in FY05 to fund the Commerce, Justice and State departments (H.R. 4754) would be used to promote legalization of prostitution or sex trafficking, and that no funds would be allotted to any group or organization that does not have a policy that is explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.
house Roll Call 340     Jul 08, 2004
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

Progressives failed to counter an amendment authored by Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), which would ensure that no money appropriated in FY05 to fund the Commerce, Justice and State departments (H.R. 4754) would be used "to promote legalization of prostitution or sex trafficking," and that no funds would be allotted to "any group or organization that does not have a policy that is explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking." The House voted 306-113, notwithstanding arguments advanced by progressives, who suggested the Commerce, Justice and State spending measure was a strange venue for legislation dealing with sex trafficking and prostitution. They also expressed concern about the broader ramifications of the Akin language, noting that it feasibly could be used to block funding for any program that did not have an explicit anti-prostitution statement. Conservative backers of the Akin amendment said the language was aimed at making "crystal clear" Congress' position that a $15 billion spending package it approved in 2003 to combat AIDS and other infectious diseases abroad would not benefit any groups actively promoting the sex trade. However, progressives argued that the amendment was overbroad with unintended consequences, and could be construed to block federal and state recipients of CJS funding - everyone from local police departments to the federal courts - unless they have explicit policies opposing such practices. Of particular sensitivity to progressives was the notion that the Akin language also could be used to hinder anyone seeking a federal grant under the Commerce, Justice and State funding bill to do medical research unless first signing off on a specific policy statement opposing these practices.

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