BACKPAGE.COM; Congressional Record Vol. 162, No. 43
(Senate - March 17, 2016)

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[Page S1559]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                              BACKPAGE.COM

  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, this afternoon the Senate will proceed 
to a vote on S. Res. 377, a resolution that would hold backpage.com in 
contempt of Congress for not complying with an investigation being 
conducted by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. 
Unfortunately, concerns have been raised that the Web site has 
connections to sex trafficking. Backpage has refused to comply with the 
subpoena request from the subcommittee. We all know that sex 
trafficking is a heinous, evil practice, and we should not and we will 
not tolerate it.
  In 2012 I sponsored an amendment to the Violence Against Women Act 
that included a sense of Congress demanding that the owners of 
backpage.com remove the adult services section of their Web site.
  Last year this Chamber passed the Justice for Victims of Trafficking 
Act, and it was signed into law by President Obama in the spring. This 
law contains language offered by Senator Kirk from Illinois which gives 
law enforcement officials additional tools to prosecute individuals 
such as those behind backpage.com who knowingly facilitate the sale or 
advertisement of human trafficking victims online.
  Today's resolution is another opportunity for the Senate to stand up 
for the victims of human trafficking.
  As a reminder, when we debated the Justice for Victims of Trafficking 
Act, we talked about the profile of a typical victim of human 
trafficking--not that any of them are typical, but on average it is a 
girl between the ages of 12 and 14. This is a horrific business and 
sordid business, and I encourage every Member to support this 
resolution.
  I thank the chairman of the subcommittee, Senator Portman from Ohio, 
who has been working tirelessly to highlight this issue and bring it to 
the Senate's full attention. I am grateful for his bipartisan efforts 
and strong leadership and look forward to voting yes on the resolution 
later today.

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