June 7, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 97 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 97
(Senate - June 07, 2017)
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[Pages S3329-S3338] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS By Mr. FLAKE (for himself and Ms. Heitkamp): S. 1305. A bill to provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection with adequate flexibility in its employment authorities; to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Mr. FLAKE. Mr. President, I rise to speak in support of the Customs and Border Protection Hiring and Retention Act, or CBP HiRe Act. In recent years, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, or CBP, has had a lot of trouble recruiting, hiring, and retaining personnel to adequately staff the border and our ports of entry. Today, CBP is nearly 1,000 officers below the mandated staffing levels. The Border Patrol, whose duty it is to secure 6,000 miles of borderlands, suffers from a shortage of more than 1,800 agents. These shortages persist, despite ample backing and funding from Congress and the threat they pose to both national security and trade-reliant communities and economies, particularly in my State of Arizona. This has been frustrating for border communities across the country, but it is especially problematic for Arizona, a State that depends on both border security and a lot of cross-border trade. For example, the Nogales port of entry in Southern Arizona is one of the busiest ports in the United States. It processes approximately $2.5 billion worth of produce each year. Arizona alone does about $15 billion in trade with Mexico alone, every year. Mexican shoppers spend about $8 million in stores in Arizona every day. However, the port currently is suffering from a 23-percent shortage of CBP officers. Our ports cannot effectively and efficiently facilitate the flow of commerce across the border without adequate staffing. One of the biggest challenges in both retaining and hiring new officers and agents for frontline positions has been the remoteness of CBP installations. CBP officers and border agents are often stationed in geographically remote and isolated locations. This likely contributes to the fact that, of those leaving the agency, nearly 30 percent of Border Patrol agents and over 10 percent of CBP officers are lost to other agencies. Massive staffing shortages aside, CBP is barely able to hire fast enough to fill the jobs left by departing agents and officers. So we have great needs that are not being filled, but we also have attrition we simply can't replace. In fact, CBP hires only 1 out of every 64 applicants for officer positions, and 1 out of every 113 applicants for Border Patrol agent positions. This means that less than 2 percent of applicants manage to get through CBP's hiring process. The situation at CBP today is simply unsustainable. Congress can't sit idly by as slow hiring rates and accelerating attrition threaten the security of our borders and the underpinnings of our economy. To that end, I am pleased to introduce my CBP HiRe Act with Senator [[Page S3330]] Heitkamp from North Dakota. This legislation would streamline the hiring process and allow the CBP to finally bring more agents and officers into frontline positions. Importantly, this bill gives CBP new tools to recruit and retain personnel in remote and hard-to-fill locations. This includes special salary rates and recruitment, relocation, and retention incentives. In addition, the bill will eliminate bureaucratic redtape by giving CBP the authority to use direct-hire authority and to expedite the hiring of qualified applicants. Right now, the situation is that they have to deal with other Federal agencies and get virtually every incentive and program they want to approve and need to approve to hire more officers. They have to run it up the flagpole so many times with Federal agencies that it simply takes too long. Lastly, the bill prevents CBP from disclosing an applicant's polygraph results with another Federal agency or non-Federal employer. Challenges relating to the administering of the polygraph have resulted in approximately 65 percent of the individuals failing the test. Think about that. People who are in another law enforcement position, even those who have taken a polygraph before just a year or two prior-- many of them fear that a false positive on a polygraph exam might impact their ability to move to another Federal agency if that is disclosed. If you have a polygraph, which can't be used in courts of law because it is not perfect or nowhere near perfect, then Federal agencies shouldn't be able to forward that to other Federal agencies. It acts as a big disincentive for people to apply for these positions because a false positive on a polygraph exam might imperil their chances to work for another Federal agency or to work in law enforcement later in their career. This also creates a disincentive, as I mentioned, for individuals to want to be hired by CBP. In Arizona, safety and prosperity are inextricably linked to CBP's ability to secure the border and facilitate trade. The CBP HiRe Act will give CBP the tools and flexibility necessary to accomplish these missions. I urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan solution, and I look forward to seeing it move through the Senate without delay. ______ By Mr. LEAHY: S. 1306. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to establish refundable tax credits for expenses relating to ensuring safety and accessibility in historic structures; to the Committee on Finance. Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, founded more than two centuries ago, Vermont boasts a trove of historically preserved buildings, structures, and towns. These are part of our heritage, and our State's character. Making a priority of managing and preserving our cultural heritage makes Vermont a National leader in this field. Of course, many of these historic structures do not meet modern fire prevention codes and lack basic features such as sprinklers, which can drastically reduce the potential for irreparable damage from a fire. Today I am reintroducing the Historic Downtown Preservation and Access Act, a bill that would create a refundable tax credit for the installation of fire suppression systems and elevators in older, multi- use buildings in historic downtowns. Every year, fires destroy numerous historic buildings that often serve as the center of towns and villages across the nation. In 2011, the Brooks House in Brattleboro, Vermont, burned down after almost 150 years in use as a hotel and later, as a multi-use building for residential housing and commercial space. After six years of rebuilding and restoring, those who were displaced by this fire are finally getting back on their feet. The Historic Downtown Preservation and Access Act will establish a 50 percent refundable tax credit of up to $50,000 that incentivizes the installation of sprinkler systems in order to help prevent and minimize damage caused by fire, including potential loss of life, extensive property damage, and, in some instances, federal funding that is reinvested during the restoration process. This bill also includes a provision to encourage the installation of elevators in our historic buildings, making them accessible to all. This would ensure that upper floors for commercial or residential use are accessible to everyone, including tenants and their guests. Finally, this bill is updated to establish a tax credit for the costs incurred when removing hazardous substances from historic buildings, like lead paint, asbestos, and radon. We should encourage the maintenance of the history and character of historic buildings and downtowns, while also ensuring that they remain safe and accessible to all. This bill is a responsible step forward in those efforts. As we look ahead to comprehensive tax reform, I hope that Congress will consider commonsense legislation like this that will help preserve our towns' unique histories and legacy features for decades to come, while promoting the safety of all Americans. ______ By Mrs. FEINSTEIN (for herself, Ms. Hassan, Ms. Warren, Ms. Harris, Ms. Baldwin, Mr. Leahy, and Mrs. Gillibrand): S. 1307. A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to expand eligibility to receive refundable tax credits for coverage under a qualified health plan; to the Committee on Finance. Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise today to introduce the Affordable Health Insurance for the Middle Class Act, a common sense fix to improve affordability of health insurance on the individual market. I am pleased that Senators Hassan, Warren, Harris, Baldwin, and Leahy have joined this bill as original cosponsors, and I appreciate their support. Since its implementation, the Affordable Care Act has helped to expand health care and control out-of-pocket costs for millions of Americans. Over 20 million people who were previously uninsured now have coverage, there are no yearly or lifetime limits on coverage, and no one can be denied coverage or charged more based on their gender or because of a pre-existing health condition. The Affordable Care Act also expanded the individual marketplace, through which 18 million people currently get their coverage. Individuals who make between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level, and who do not have affordable employer coverage available to them, can receive a tax credit subsidy to help pay for insurance on the individual market. This credit limits the cost of insurance at 9.69 percent of an individual's income. However, someone who makes just one dollar above the income threshold immediately loses all federal assistance. This `cliff' unfairly impacts middle-income Americans who are by no means wealthy, but who make just barely too much to qualify for the tax credit. I am particularly concerned about my constituents between the ages of 50 to 64, who are facing higher premiums as they age and who need access to health services but are not yet eligible for Medicare. To address this issue, the Affordable Health Insurance for the Middle Class Act would eliminate the current cliff, and instead gradually phase out federal assistance based on income. Nobody would pay more than 9.69 percent of their income for insurance, and once someone's premium fell below this threshold, they would no longer receive federal assistance. For example, in my hometown of San Francisco, a 60-year-old making $50,000 currently pays $946 per month for the second-lowest cost Silver plan and does not receive federal assistance. Under this bill, their premium would be capped at $404, or 9.69 percent of their income, and the tax credit subsidy would cover the rest. This bill would create a fairer and more predictable system, ensuring that consumers on the individual market know just how much their insurance will cost and will have affordable options available. The Affordable Care Act has reduced costs and expanded benefits for many Americans, and it is critical that we build on this progress to further improve the law--not destroy it. The bill is supported by a number of organizations, including the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, AANS, Child Welfare League of America, Congress of Neurological Surgeons, CNS, Families USA, Lung Cancer Alliance, and National Farmers Union. This legislation is a simple fix that provides relief for middle- income [[Page S3331]] Americans and strengthens affordability protections for coverage through the individual market. I urge all of my colleagues to cosponsor the Affordable Health Insurance for the Middle Class Act. Thank you Mr. President and I yield the floor. ______ By Ms. STABENOW (for herself and Mr. Peters): S. 1308. A bill to increase authorized funding for the Soo Locks; to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. Mr. PETERS. Mr. President, I rise to speak about legislation I am introducing with my colleague from Michigan Senator Stabenow to authorize funding for a new Soo Lock. Since 1855, locks at the St. Mary's River have allowed ships to pass between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. In modern times, this waterway has allowed large freighters to move coal, iron ore, and agricultural products throughout the Great Lakes. The Soo Locks are the most important link in a critical supply chain that connects iron ore mines in Minnesota and Michigan's Upper Peninsula with steel mills and manufacturing facilities all across the country. During World War II, Congress authorized funding for a new lock because it was clear the country's ability to move iron ore to steel plants in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania was absolutely critical for the war effort. It took less than 2 years to complete that project after Congress authorized the funding in 1942. President Roosevelt signed an Executive order establishing the military district of Sault Saint Marie, and the Army stationed 10,000 troops there to defend the Soo Locks by land, air, and sea--so great was the fear that a German attack would instantly cripple Allied efforts to produce steel and weapons. Today, there is only one Soo Lock--the Poe Lock--that is large enough to accommodate modern freighters, especially the 1,000-foot-long vessels that move millions of tons of iron ore each and every year. Over 80 percent of the commodities that flow through the Soo Locks must pass through the Poe Lock, and each one of those 1,000-foot freighters carries the equivalent of 3,000 truckloads of commodities. It is not possible to move that amount of iron ore in these 1,000-foot freighters by rail or by road, and on top of that, the steel mills are only equipped to handle the iron ore supply by water. A study conducted by the Department of Homeland Security in 2015 confirmed that it is the Achilles' heel of our economy. Key findings from the Department say: ``A disruption of the Poe Lock likely will cause an almost complete shutdown of Great Lake steel production.'' The report goes on to say: ``A shutdown of Great Lakes steel production likely will cause almost all North American appliances, automobiles, construction equipment, farm equipment, mining equipment, and railcar production to cease within weeks.'' Within weeks. The Homeland Security report estimates that 11 million Americans would lose their jobs if this were to happen. Consider the fact that the jobs of millions of American workers depend on the ability of large ships to pass, as depicted, from here to here on the St. Mary's Falls Canal. Currently, there is only one lock that can accommodate this task. If this lock shuts down, steel plants in Ohio and Indiana and Kentucky shut down. Auto plants in Texas, Tennessee, California, and Michigan shut down. The American economy shuts down. The losses would be felt throughout the United States, wherever steel is used in the manufacturing process. We are taking an unacceptable risk if we do not act swiftly to ensure that there is a backup in the case of a lock failure. That is why I am joining Senator Stabenow and members of the Michigan congressional delegation from both parties to introduce a bill that would authorize the funding for constructing another larger Poe-sized lock. The current authorization for the project is far below projected cost estimates. Our bill, which was introduced today, if enacted, will allow the Army Corps to move directly into the design and construction phase. We do not have a moment to lose. Just last week, I traveled to the Soo Locks for a tour with members of the Michigan congressional delegation, and we saw firsthand how the dedicated men and women of the Army Corps are working to keep the locks functioning. They go to work each and every day with a full understanding of how the safety and security of the Nation rests with their ability to maintain this critical infrastructure. It is a credit to the skill of the Army Corps of Engineers that freighters have been able to pass through the St. Mary's on their journeys around the Great Lakes almost without interruption. But they are working with equipment that has been maintained well beyond its life cycle and in some cases beyond two life cycles. When I was there last week, I saw 100-year-old water pumps still in use. We cannot continue to rely on the infrastructure investments made by our grandparents and great-grandparents. It is time to invest in our country and the well-being of our economy for future generations and pass the Soo Locks Modernization Act. ______ By Mr. CORNYN (for himself, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Grassley, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Corker, Mr. Brown, Mr. Heller, Mr. Wyden, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Coons, Mr. Hatch, Mr. Burr, and Ms. Heitkamp): S. 1311. A bill to provide assistance in abolishing human trafficking in the United States; to the Committee on the Judiciary. Mr. CORNYN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the text of the bill be printed in the Record. There being no objection, the text of the bill was ordered to be printed in the Record, as follows: S. 1311 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017''. (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as follows: Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. Sec. 2. Preserving Domestic Trafficking Victims' Fund. Sec. 3. Mandatory restitution for victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Sec. 4. Victim-witness assistance in sexual exploitation cases. Sec. 5. Victim protection training for the Department of Homeland Security. Sec. 6. Implementing a victim-centered approach to human trafficking. Sec. 7. Direct services for child victims of human trafficking. Sec. 8. Holistic training for Federal law enforcement officers and prosecutors. Sec. 9. Best practices in delivering justice for victims of trafficking. Sec. 10. Training for health professionals. Sec. 11. Improving the national strategy to combat human trafficking. Sec. 12. Specialized human trafficking training and technical assistance for service providers. Sec. 13. Enhanced penalties for human trafficking, child exploitation, and repeat offenders. Sec. 14. Targeting organized human trafficking perpetrators. Sec. 15. Investigating complex human trafficking networks. Sec. 16. Combating sex tourism. Sec. 17. Human Trafficking Justice Coordinators. Sec. 18. Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Human Trafficking. Sec. 19. Additional reporting on crime. Sec. 20. Making the Presidential Survivor Council permanent. Sec. 21. Strengthening the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Sec. 22. Ending government partnerships with the commercial sex industry. Sec. 23. Study of human trafficking victim privilege. Sec. 24. Understanding the effects of severe forms of trafficking in persons. Sec. 25. Combating trafficking in persons. Sec. 26. Grant accountability. SEC. 2. PRESERVING DOMESTIC TRAFFICKING VICTIMS' FUND. (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the Domestic Trafficking Victims' Fund established under section 3014 of title 18, United States Code-- (1) is intended to supplement, and not supplant, any other funding for domestic trafficking victims; and (2) has achieved the objective described in paragraph (1) since the establishment of the Fund. (b) Ensuring Full Funding.--Section 3014 of title 18, United States Code, is amended-- (1) in subsection (a), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking ``September 30, 2019'' and inserting ``September 30, 2023''; [[Page S3332]] (2) in subsection (f), by inserting ``, including the mandatory imposition of civil remedies for satisfaction of an unpaid fine as authorized under section 3613, where appropriate'' after ``criminal cases''; and (3) in subsection (h)(3), by inserting ``and child victims of a severe form of trafficking (as defined in section 103 of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7102))'' after ``child pornography victims''. SEC. 3. MANDATORY RESTITUTION FOR VICTIMS OF COMMERCIAL SEXUAL EXPLOITATION. (a) Amendment.--Chapter 117 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: ``Sec. 2429. Mandatory restitution ``(a) In General.--Notwithstanding section 3663 or 3663A, and in addition to any other civil or criminal penalty authorized by law, the court shall order restitution for any offense under this chapter. ``(b) Scope and Nature of Order.-- ``(1) Directions.--An order of restitution under this section shall direct the defendant to pay the victim (through the appropriate court mechanism) the full amount of the victim's losses, as determined by the court under paragraph (3). ``(2) Enforcement.--An order of restitution under this section shall be issued and enforced in accordance with section 3664 in the same manner as an order under section 3663A. ``(3) Full amount of the victim's losses defined.--For purposes of this subsection, the term `full amount of the victim's losses'-- ``(A) has the meaning given the term in section 2259(b)(3); and ``(B) includes the gross income or value to the defendant of the victim's services, if the services constitute commercial sex acts as defined under section 1591. ``(4) Forfeiture of property.--The forfeiture of property under this subsection shall be governed by the provisions of section 413 (other than subsection (d) of such section 413) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 853). ``(c) Victim Defined.-- ``(1) In general.--In this section, the term `victim' means the individual harmed as a result of the commission of a crime under this chapter. ``(2) Assumption of crime victim's rights.--In the case of a victim who is under 18 years of age, incompetent, incapacitated, or deceased, the legal guardian of the victim, a representative of the victim's estate, or any other person appointed as suitable by the court may assume the crime victim's rights under this section ``(d) Prohibition.--A defendant charged with an offense under this chapter may not be named as a representative or guardian of a victim of the offense.''. (b) Table of Sections.--The table of sections for chapter 117 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 2428 the following: ``2429. Mandatory restitution.''. SEC. 4. VICTIM-WITNESS ASSISTANCE IN SEXUAL EXPLOITATION CASES. (a) Availability of DOJ Appropriations.--Section 524(c)(1)(B) of title 28, United States Code, is amended by inserting ``, chapter 110 of title 18'' after ``chapter 77 of title 18''. (b) Amendment to Title 31.--Section 9705(a)(2)(B)(v) of title 31, United States Code, is amended by inserting ``, chapter 109A of title 18 (relating to sexual abuse), chapter 110 of title 18 (relating to child sexual exploitation), or chapter 117 of title 18 (relating to transportation for illegal sexual activity and related crimes)'' after ``(relating to human trafficking)''. SEC. 5. VICTIM PROTECTION TRAINING FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. (a) In General.--Title IX of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (6 U.S.C. 641 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``SEC. 906. VICTIM PROTECTION TRAINING FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. ``(a) Directive to DHS Law Enforcement Officials and Task Forces.-- ``(1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall issue a directive to-- ``(A) all Federal law enforcement officers and relevant personnel employed by the Department who may be involved in the investigation of human trafficking offenses; and ``(B) members of all task forces led by the Department that participate in the investigation of human trafficking offenses. ``(2) Required instructions.--The directive required to be issued under paragraph (1) shall include instructions on-- ``(A) the investigation of individuals who patronize or solicit human trafficking victims as being engaged in severe trafficking in persons and how such individuals should be investigated for their roles in severe trafficking in persons; and ``(B) how victims of sex or labor trafficking often engage in criminal acts as a direct result of severe trafficking in persons and such individuals are victims of a crime and affirmative measures should be taken to avoid arresting, charging, or prosecuting such individuals for any offense that is the direct result of their victimization. ``(b) Victim Screening Protocol.-- ``(1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall issue a screening protocol for use during all anti-trafficking law enforcement operations in which the Department is involved. ``(2) Requirements.--The protocol required to be issued under paragraph (1) shall-- ``(A) require the individual screening of all adults and children who are suspected of engaging in commercial sex acts, child labor that is a violation of law, or work in violation of labor standards to determine whether each individual screened is a victim of human trafficking; ``(B) require affirmative measures to avoid arresting, charging, or prosecuting human trafficking victims for any offense that is the direct result of their victimization; ``(C) be developed in consultation with relevant interagency partners and nongovernmental organizations that specialize in the prevention of human trafficking or in the identification and support of victims of human trafficking and survivors of human trafficking; and ``(D) include-- ``(i) procedures and practices to ensure that the screening process minimizes trauma or revictimization of the person being screened; and ``(ii) guidelines on assisting victims of human trafficking in identifying and receiving restorative services. ``(c) Mandatory Training.--The training described in sections 902 and 904 shall include training necessary to implement-- ``(1) the directive required under subsection (a); and ``(2) the protocol required under subsection (b).''. (b) Table of Contents Amendment.--The table of contents in section 1(b) of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-22; 129 Stat. 227) is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 905 the following: ``Sec. 906. Victim protection training for the Department of Homeland Security.''. SEC. 6. IMPLEMENTING A VICTIM-CENTERED APPROACH TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Section 107(b)(2) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7105(b)(2)) is amended-- (1) in subparagraph (B)(ii); by striking the period at the end and inserting ``; and''; and (2) by adding at the end the following: ``(D) Priority.--In selecting recipients of grants under this paragraph that are only available for law enforcement operations or task forces, the Attorney General may give priority to any applicant that files an attestation with the Attorney General stating that-- ``(i) the grant funds-- ``(I) will be used to assist in the prevention of severe forms of trafficking in persons in accordance with Federal law; ``(II) will be used to strengthen efforts to investigate and prosecute those who knowingly benefit financially from participation in a venture that has engaged in any act of human trafficking; ``(III) will be used to take affirmative measures to avoid arresting, charging, or prosecuting victims of human trafficking for any offense that is the direct result of their victimization; and ``(IV) will not be used to require a victim of human trafficking to collaborate with law enforcement officers as a condition of access to any shelter or restorative services; and ``(ii) the applicant will provide dedicated resources for anti-human trafficking law enforcement for a period that is longer than the duration of the grant received under this paragraph.''. SEC. 7. DIRECT SERVICES FOR CHILD VICTIMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Section 214(b) of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 13002(b)) is amended-- (1) in the heading by inserting ``Child Victims of a Severe Form of Trafficking in Persons and'' before ``Victims of Child Pornography''; and (2) by inserting ``victims of a severe form of trafficking (as defined in section 103 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7102(9)(A)) who were under the age of 18 at the time of the offense and'' before ``victims of child pornography''. SEC. 8. HOLISTIC TRAINING FOR FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND PROSECUTORS. All training required under the Combat Human Trafficking Act of 2015 (42 U.S.C. 14044g) and section 105(c)(4) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7105(c)(4)) shall-- (1) emphasize that an individual who knowingly solicits or patronizes a commercial sex act from a person who was a minor (consistent with section 1591(c) of title 18, United States Code) or was subject to force, fraud, or coercion is guilty of an offense under chapter 77 of title 18, United States Code, and is a party to a human trafficking offense; (2) develop specific curriculum for-- (A) under appropriate circumstances, arresting and prosecuting buyers of commercial sex, child labor that is a violation of law, or forced labor as a form of primary prevention; and (B) investigating and prosecuting individuals who knowingly benefit financially from participation in a venture that has engaged in any act of human trafficking; and (3) specify that any comprehensive approach to eliminating human trafficking [[Page S3333]] shall include a demand reduction component. SEC. 9. BEST PRACTICES IN DELIVERING JUSTICE FOR VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING. Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall issue guidance to all offices and components of the Department of Justice-- (1) emphasizing that an individual who knowingly solicits or patronizes a commercial sex act from a person who was a minor (consistent with section 1591(c) of title 18, United States Code) or was subject to force, fraud, or coercion is guilty of an offense under chapter 77 of title 18, United States Code, and is a party to a severe form of trafficking in persons, as that term is defined in section 103(9) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7102(9)); (2) recommending and implementing best practices for the collection of special assessments under section 3014 of title 18, United States Code, as added by section 101 of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-22; 129 Stat. 228), including a directive that civil liens are an authorized collection method and remedy under section 3613 of title 18, United States Code; and (3) clarifying that commercial sexual exploitation is a form of gender-based violence. SEC. 10. TRAINING FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS. Section 107 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7105(f)) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(h) Training for Health Professionals.-- ``(1) Definitions.--In this subsection-- ``(A) the term `pilot program' means the Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond to Health and Wellness Training pilot program established under paragraph (2); and ``(B) the term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Health and Human Services. ``(2) Pilot program.-- ``(A) In general.--The Secretary may continue a pilot program, which shall be known as the `Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond to Health and Wellness Training pilot program' or the `SOAR to Health and Wellness Training pilot program'. ``(B) Grants authorized.--Under the pilot program, the Secretary may award grants to appropriate entities to train health care providers-- ``(i) to identify potential human trafficking victims; ``(ii) to work with law enforcement agencies to report human trafficking and facilitate communication with human trafficking victims, in accordance with all applicable Federal, State, local, and tribal laws, including legal confidentiality requirements for patients and health care providers; ``(iii) to refer such victims to appropriate social or victims service agencies or organizations; ``(iv) to provide such victims with appropriate patient- centered, evidence-based care; and ``(v) to foster the practice of interprofessional collaboration, including practices used by organizations other than health care organizations. ``(C) Functions.-- ``(i) In general.--The functions of the pilot program shall include, as appropriate, the functions of the Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond to Health and Wellness Training program that was operating on the day before the date of the enactment of this subsection and any of the authorized initiatives described in clause (ii). ``(ii) Authorized initiatives.--The authorized initiatives of the pilot program shall include-- ``(I) engaging stakeholders, including victims of human trafficking and Federal, State, local, or tribal partners; ``(II) making grants available to support training in health care sites that represent diversity in-- ``(aa) geography; ``(bb) the demographics of the population served; ``(cc) the predominate types of human trafficking cases; and ``(dd) health care provider profiles; and ``(III) providing technical assistance to assist grantees in-- ``(aa) achieving the objectives described in subparagraph (B); and ``(bb) reporting on any best practices they identify. ``(D) Termination.--The pilot program shall terminate not later than October 1, 2022. ``(3) Data collection and reporting requirements.-- ``(A) Data collection.--During any of the fiscal years 2018 through 2022 in which the Secretary carries out any of the authorized initiatives described in paragraph (2)(C), the Secretary shall collect data and report on-- ``(i) the total number of entities that received a grant under this subsection-- ``(I) during the previous fiscal year; ``(II) between the previous fiscal year and the date of the enactment of this subsection; and ``(III) between the date of the enactment of this subsection and the date of the establishment of the Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond to Health and Wellness Training program that was operating on the day before the date of the enactment of this subsection; and ``(ii) the total number of health care providers and other related providers that participated in training supported by the pilot program-- ``(I) during the previous fiscal year; ``(II) between the previous fiscal year and the date of the enactment of this subsection; and ``(III) between the date of the enactment of this subsection and the date of the establishment of the Stop, Observe, Ask, and Respond to Health and Wellness Training program that was operating on the day before the date of the enactment of this subsection. ``(B) Reporting.--Not later than 90 days after the first day of each of the fiscal years 2018 through 2022, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to Congress a report on the data collected under subparagraph (A). ``(C) Sharing best practices.--The Secretary shall make available, on the website of the Department of Health and Human Services, a description of the evidence-based practices and procedures used by entities that receive a grant under the pilot program for carrying out the activities described in paragraph (2)(B).''. SEC. 11. IMPROVING THE NATIONAL STRATEGY TO COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Section 606(b) of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (42 U.S.C. 14044h(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(6) A national strategy to prevent human trafficking and reduce demand for human trafficking victims.''. SEC. 12. SPECIALIZED HUMAN TRAFFICKING TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR SERVICE PROVIDERS. (a) In General.--Section 111 of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 14044f) is amended-- (1) in the heading, by striking ``LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING PROGRAMS'' and inserting ``SPECIALIZED HUMAN TRAFFICKING TRAINING AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE''; (2) in subsection (a)(2), by striking ``means a State or a local government.'' and inserting the following: ``means-- ``(A) a State or unit of local government; ``(B) a federally recognized Indian tribal government, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior; ``(C) a victim service provider; ``(D) a nonprofit or for-profit organization (including a tribal nonprofit or for-profit organization); ``(E) a national organization; or ``(F) an institution of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education).''; (3) by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following: ``(b) Grants Authorized.--The Attorney General may award grants to eligible entities to-- ``(1) provide training to identify and protect victims of trafficking; ``(2) improve quality and quantity of services offered to trafficking survivors; and ``(3) improve victim service providers' partnerships with Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies and other relevant entities.''; and (4) in subsection (c)-- (A) in paragraph (2), by striking ``or'' at the end; (B) in paragraph (3), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and (C) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following: ``(4) provide technical assistance on the range of services available to victim service providers who serve trafficking victims; ``(5) develop and distribute materials, including materials identifying best practices in accordance with Federal law and policies, to support victim service providers working with human trafficking victims; ``(6) identify and disseminate other publically available materials in accordance with Federal law to help build capacity of service providers; ``(7) provide training at relevant conferences, through webinars, or through other mechanisms in accordance with Federal law; or ``(8) assist service providers in developing additional resources such as partnerships with Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies and other relevant entities in order to access a range of available services in accordance with Federal law.''. (b) Technical and Conforming Amendment.--The table of contents in section 2 of the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-162; 119 Stat. 2960) is amended by striking the item relating to section 111 and inserting the following: ``Sec. 111. Grants for specialized human trafficking training and technical assistance for service providers.''. SEC. 13. ENHANCED PENALTIES FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING, CHILD EXPLOITATION, AND REPEAT OFFENDERS. Part I of title 18, United States Code, is amended-- (1) in chapter 77-- (A) in section 1583(a), in the flush text following paragraph (3), by striking ``not more than 20 years'' and inserting ``not more than 30 years''; (B) in section 1587, by striking ``four years'' and inserting ``10 years''; and (C) in section 1591(d), by striking ``20 years'' and inserting ``25 years''; and (2) in section 2426-- (A) in subsection (a), by striking ``twice'' and inserting ``3 times''; and (B) in subsection (b)(1)(B) by striking ``paragraph (1)'' and inserting ``subparagraph (A)''. [[Page S3334]] SEC. 14. TARGETING ORGANIZED HUMAN TRAFFICKING PERPETRATORS. Section 521(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended-- (1) in paragraph (2), by striking ``and'' at the end; (2) by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (4); (3) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following: ``(3) a Federal offense involving human trafficking, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, or transportation for prostitution or any illegal sexual activity; and''; and (4) in paragraph (4), as so redesignated, by striking ``(1) or (2)'' and inserting ``(1), (2), or (3)''. SEC. 15. INVESTIGATING COMPLEX HUMAN TRAFFICKING NETWORKS. Section 2516 of title 18, United States Code, is amended-- (1) in paragraph (1)(c)-- (A) by inserting ``section 1582 (vessels for slave trade), section 1583 (enticement into slavery),'' after ``section 1581 (peonage),''; and (B) by inserting ``section 1585 (seizure, detention, transportation or sale of slaves), section 1586 (service on vessels in slave trade), section 1587 (possession of slaves aboard vessel), section 1588 (transportation of slaves from United States),'' after ``section 1584 (involuntary servitude),''; and (2) in paragraph (2)-- (A) by striking ``kidnapping human'' and inserting ``kidnapping, human''; and (B) by striking ``production, ,'' and inserting ``production, prostitution,''. SEC. 16. COMBATING SEX TOURISM. Section 2423 of title 18, United States Code, is amended-- (1) in subsection (b), by striking ``for the purpose'' and inserting ``with a motivating purpose''; and (2) in subsection (d), by striking ``for the purpose of engaging'' and inserting ``with a motivating purpose of engaging''. SEC. 17. HUMAN TRAFFICKING JUSTICE COORDINATORS. (a) Human Trafficking Justice Coordinators.--The Attorney General shall designate in each Federal judicial district not less than 1 Assistant United States Attorney to serve as the Human Trafficking Coordinator for the district who, in addition to any other responsibilities, works with a human trafficking victim-witness specialist and shall be responsible for-- (1) serving as the legal counsel for the Federal judicial district on matters relating to human trafficking; (2) prosecuting, or assisting in the prosecution of, human trafficking cases; (3) conducting public outreach and awareness activities relating to human trafficking; (4) ensuring the collection of data required to be collected under clause (viii) of section 105(d)(7)(Q) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7103(d)(7)(Q)), as added by section 18 of this Act; (5) coordinating with other Federal agencies, State, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies, victim service providers, and other relevant non-governmental organizations to build partnerships on activities relating to human trafficking; and (6) ensuring the collection of restitution for victims as required to be ordered under section 1593 of title 18, United States Code, and section 2429 of such title, as added by section 3 of this Act. (b) Department of Justice Coordinator.--Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall designate an official who shall coordinate human trafficking efforts within the Department of Justice who, in addition to any other responsibilities, shall be responsible for-- (1) coordinating, promoting, and supporting the work of the Department of Justice relating to human trafficking, including investigation, prosecution, training, outreach, victim support, grant-making, and policy activities; (2) in consultation with survivors of human trafficking, compiling, conducting, and disseminating, including making publicly available when appropriate, replication guides and training materials for law enforcement officers, prosecutors, judges, emergency responders, individuals working in victim services, adult and child protective services, social services, and public safety, medical personnel, mental health personnel, financial services personnel, and any other individuals whose work may bring them in contact with human trafficking regarding how to-- (A) conduct investigations in human trafficking cases; (B) address evidentiary issues and other legal issues; and (C) appropriately assess, respond to, and interact with victims and witnesses in human trafficking cases, including in administrative, civil, and criminal judicial proceedings; and (3) carrying out such other duties as the Attorney General determines necessary in connection with enhancing the understanding, prevention, and detection of, and response to, human trafficking. SEC. 18. INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE TO MONITOR AND COMBAT HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Section 105(d)(7)(Q) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7103(d)(7)(Q)) is amended-- (1) in clause (vi), by striking ``and'' at the end; and (2) by adding at the end the following: ``(viii) the number of convictions obtained under chapter 77 of title 18, United States Code, aggregated separately by the form of offense committed with respect to the victim, including recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, providing, obtaining, advertising, maintaining, patronizing, or soliciting a human trafficking victim; and''. SEC. 19. ADDITIONAL REPORTING ON CRIME. Section 237(b) of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (28 U.S.C. 534 note) is amended-- (1) in paragraph (2), by striking ``and'' at the end; (2) in paragraph (3), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and (3) by adding at the end the following: ``(4) incidents of assisting or promoting prostitution, child labor that is a violation of law, or forced labor of an individual under the age of 18 as described in paragraph (1); and ``(5) incidents of purchasing or soliciting commercial sex acts, child labor that is a violation of law, or forced labor with an individual under the age of 18 as described in paragraph (2).''. SEC. 20. MAKING THE PRESIDENTIAL SURVIVOR COUNCIL PERMANENT. Section 115 of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-22; 129 Stat. 243) is amended by striking subsection (h). SEC. 21. STRENGTHENING THE NATIONAL HUMAN TRAFFICKING HOTLINE. (a) Reporting Requirement.--Section 105(d)(3) of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7103(d)(3)) is amended-- (1) by inserting ``and providing an annual report on the case referrals received from the national human trafficking hotline by Federal departments and agencies'' after ``international trafficking''; and (2) by inserting ``and reporting requirements'' after ``Any data collection procedures''. (b) Hotline Information.--Section 107(b)(1)(B)(ii) of such Act (22 U.S.C. 7105(b)(1)(B)(ii)) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``The number of the national human trafficking hotline described in this clause shall be posted in a visible place in all Federal buildings.''. SEC. 22. ENDING GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE COMMERCIAL SEX INDUSTRY. No Federal funds or resources may be used for the operation of, participation in, or partnership with any program that involves the provision of funding or resources to an organization that-- (1) has the primary purpose of providing adult entertainment; and (2) derives profits from the commercial sex trade. SEC. 23. STUDY OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIM PRIVILEGE. Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Judicial Conference of the United States shall-- (1) conduct a study on the necessity and desirability of amending the Federal Rules of Evidence to establish a Federal evidentiary privilege for confidential communications between a victim of human trafficking, regardless of whether the victim of human trafficking is a party to a legal action, and a caseworker assisting the victim of human trafficking; and (2) submit to Congress a report on the study conducted under paragraph (1). SEC. 24. UNDERSTANDING THE EFFECTS OF SEVERE FORMS OF TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS. (a) In General.--Title VI of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-22; 129 Stat. 258) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``SEC. 607. UNDERSTANDING THE PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF SEVERE FORMS OF TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS. ``(a) In General.--The National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shall jointly conduct a study on the short-term and long-term physical and psychological effects of serious harm (as that term is defined in section 1589(c)(2) and section 1591(e)(4) of title 18, United States Code, as amended by the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-457; 122 Stat. 5044)) in order to determine the most effective types of services for individuals who are identified as victims of these crimes, including victims in cases that were not investigated or prosecuted by any law enforcement agency, and how new or current treatment and programming options should be tailored to address the unique needs and barriers associated with these victims. ``(b) Report.--Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of the Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017, the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shall make available to the public the results, including any associated recommendations, of the study conducted under subsection (a).''. (b) Table of Contents Amendment.--The table of contents in section 1(b) of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-22; 129 Stat. 227) is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 606 the following: [[Page S3335]] ``Sec. 607. Understanding the physical and psychological effects of severe forms of trafficking in persons.''. SEC. 25. COMBATING TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS. (a) Trafficking Victims Prevention Act of 2000 Programs.-- Section 113 of the Trafficking Victims Prevention Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7110) is amended-- (1) in subsection (b)-- (A) in paragraph (1), by striking ``2014 through 2017'' and inserting ``2018 through 2022.''; and (B) in paragraph (2), by striking ``2014 through 2017'' and inserting ``2018 through 2022''; and (2) in subsection (i), by striking ``2014 through 2017'' and inserting ``2018 through 2022''. (b) Reinstatement and Reauthorization of Grants to Combat Child Sex Trafficking.-- (1) Reinstatement of expired provision.-- (A) In general.--Section 202 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 14044a) is amended to read as such section read on March 6, 2017. (B) Conforming amendment.--Section 1241(b) of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (42 U.S.C. 14004a note) is repealed. (2) Effective date.--The amendments made by paragraph (1) shall take effect as though enacted on March 6, 2017. (3) Reauthorization.--Section 202(i) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2005, as amended by paragraph (1), is amended to read as follows: ``(i) Funding.--For each of the fiscal years 2018 through 2022, the Attorney General is authorized to allocate up to $8,000,000 of the amounts appropriated pursuant to section 113(d)(1) of the Trafficking Victims Prevention Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7110(d)(1)) to carry out this section.''. SEC. 26. GRANT ACCOUNTABILITY. (a) Definitions.--In this section-- (1) the term ``covered agency'' means an agency authorized to award grants under this Act; (2) the term ``covered grant'' means a grant authorized to be awarded under this Act; and (3) the term ``covered official'' means the head of a covered agency. (b) Accountability.--All covered grants shall be subject to the following accountability provisions: (1) Audit requirement.-- (A) Definition.--In this paragraph, the term ``unresolved audit finding'' means a finding in the final audit report of the Inspector General of a covered agency that the audited grantee has utilized funds under a covered grant for an unauthorized expenditure or otherwise unallowable cost that is not closed or resolved within 12 months from the date when the final audit report is issued. (B) Audits.--Beginning in the first fiscal year beginning after the date of enactment of this Act, and in each fiscal year thereafter, the Inspector General of a covered agency shall conduct audits of recipients of covered grants to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse of funds by grantees. The Inspector General shall determine the appropriate number of grantees to be audited each year. (C) Mandatory exclusion.--A recipient of funds under a covered grant that is found to have an unresolved audit finding shall not be eligible to receive funds under a covered grant during the first 2 fiscal years beginning after the end of the 12-month period described in subparagraph (A). (D) Priority.--In awarding covered grants, a covered official shall give priority to eligible applicants that did not have an unresolved audit finding during the 3 fiscal years before submitting an application for the covered grant. (E) Reimbursement.--If an entity is awarded funds under a covered grant during the 2-fiscal-year period during which the entity is barred from receiving covered grants under subparagraph (C), a covered official shall-- (i) deposit an amount equal to the amount of the grant funds that were improperly awarded to the grantee into the General Fund of the Treasury; and (ii) seek to recoup the costs of the repayment to the fund from the recipient of the covered grant that was erroneously awarded grant funds. (2) Nonprofit organization requirements.-- (A) Definition.--For purposes of this paragraph and each covered grant program, the term ``nonprofit organization'' means an organization that is described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of such Code. (B) Prohibition.--A covered grant may not be awarded to a nonprofit organization that holds money in offshore accounts for the purpose of avoiding paying the tax described in section 511(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. (C) Disclosure.--Each nonprofit organization that is awarded a covered grant and uses the procedures prescribed in regulations to create a rebuttable presumption of reasonableness for the compensation of its officers, directors, trustees, and key employees, shall disclose to the applicable covered official, in the application for the covered grant, the process for determining such compensation, including the independent persons involved in reviewing and approving such compensation, the comparability data used, and contemporaneous substantiation of the deliberation and decision. Upon request, a covered official shall make the information disclosed under this subparagraph available for public inspection. (3) Conference expenditures.-- (A) Limitation.--No amounts made available to a covered agency to carry out a covered grant program may be used by a covered official, or by any individual or entity awarded discretionary funds through a cooperative agreement under a covered grant program, to host or support any expenditure for conferences that uses more than $20,000 in funds made available by the covered agency, unless the covered official provides prior written authorization that the funds may be expended to host the conference. (B) Written approval.--Written approval under subparagraph (A) shall include a written estimate of all costs associated with the conference, including the cost of all food, beverages, audio-visual equipment, honoraria for speakers, and entertainment. (C) Report.-- (i) Department of justice.--The Deputy Attorney General shall submit an annual report to the appropriate committees of Congress on all conference expenditures approved under this paragraph. (ii) Department of health and human services.--The Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress an annual report on all conference expenditures approved under this paragraph. (iii) Department of homeland security.--The Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress an annual report on all conference expenditures approved under this paragraph. (4) Annual certification.--Beginning in the first fiscal year beginning after the date of enactment of this Act, each covered official shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress an annual certification-- (A) indicating whether-- (i) all audits issued by the Office of the Inspector General of the applicable covered agency under paragraph (1) have been completed and reviewed by the appropriate official; (ii) all mandatory exclusions required under paragraph (1)(C) have been issued; and (iii) all reimbursements required under paragraph (1)(E) have been made; and (B) that includes a list of any recipients of a covered grant excluded under paragraph (1) from the previous year. (c) Preventing Duplicative Grants.-- (1) In general.--Before a covered official awards a covered grant, the covered official shall compare potential awards under the covered grant program with other covered grants awarded to determine if duplicate grant awards are awarded for the same purpose. (2) Report.--If a covered official awards duplicate covered grants to the same applicant for the same purpose the covered official shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress a report that includes-- (A) a list of all duplicate covered grants awarded, including the total dollar amount of any duplicate covered grants awarded; and (B) the reason the covered official awarded the duplicate covered grants. ______ By Mr. GRASSLEY (for himself, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Cornyn, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Corker, and Mr. Rubio): S. 1312. A bill to prioritize the fight against human trafficking in the United States; to the Committee on the Judiciary. Mr. GRASSLEY. Mr. President, this week, I am introducing a bill known as the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2017. I want to thank Senators Feinstein, Cornyn, Klobuchar, Corker and Rubio for joining as original cosponsors. I also want to thank the many organizations that support this bill and worked so closely with us on its development; they include Rights4Girls, Polaris, the ATEST Coalition, Shared Hope International, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the National Association of VOCA Assistance Administrators, and the National District Attorneys Association. As its title implies, our legislation is aimed at combating the terrible scourge of human trafficking in the United States. To call trafficking victims' suffering a grave violation of our most basic human rights would be an understatement. Trafficking is a life- shattering crime that too-often goes unnoticed, despite the profound injury it inflicts on its victims and our society. Traffickers typically operate in the shadows, making it hard to identify them as well as their victims. That invisibility makes it harder still to rescue the victims and bring the perpetrators to justice. But there are some things we do know about human trafficking, and we know them with some certainty. We know, for example, that trafficking is happening in rural areas, in cities, and in the suburbs. It is not confined to any [[Page S3336]] one area, because it has become so profitable. It has become a problem of national significance. To be sure, we have made some strides in combating this terrible crime since the passage of the original Trafficking Victims Protection Act, or TVPA, over 15 years ago. The TVPA, last reauthorized in 2013, authorizes some very important programs to help victims. The bill I'm introducing this week updates and extends a number of these programs, which are under the jurisdiction of the Departments of Justice and Labor. Senator Cornyn this week is introducing a complementary bill that would reauthorize other TVPA programs, including those at the Departments of Health and Homeland Security. This is not the first time we have collaborated on this subject. Two years ago, Senator Cornyn sponsored, and I cosponsored, another important measure, known as the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. As chair of the Judiciary Committee, I made that 2015 law's passage a top priority for our Committee and fought for its enactment. It established a new fund to help cover survivors' services and also equipped law enforcement with new tools to fight traffickers. The services authorized under this 2015 statute are crucial to helping survivors rebuild their lives with dignity. The bill that I am introducing this week is a critical next step in ensuring that human trafficking is prevented, its perpetrators prosecuted, and its victims protected. This bill, drafted with bipartisan support, would require more training for investigative personnel at the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security. It also extends a grant program by which school personnel can receive training to recognize and respond to signs of trafficking in our educational system. This bill also offers increased assistance to prosecutors and law enforcement agencies in their fight against human trafficking. For instance, it authorizes the Secret Service to offer investigative and forensic assistance to other crime fighting agencies. And it updates key provisions of the Missing Children's Assistance Act, which authorizes the important work of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The Center operates a cyber tipline by which internet service providers can report child sexual abuse. Additionally, the bill I am introducing signals Congress' continued support for services available to trafficking victims who cooperate with federal law enforcement in trafficking investigations. Specifically, the bill authorizes an Office of Victim Assistance within the Department of Homeland Security. This office, which is staffed with specially trained victim assistance personnel, plays a crucial role in securing victims' cooperation with trafficking investigations. Finally, this bill would promote the collection of more data on trafficking, and it would promote increased coordination among the federal agencies engaged in combating this crime. Meaningful partnerships at the federal level can help expand awareness, leverage expertise, and facilitate creative solutions. In closing, I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation. Thank you, Mr. President. Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I am pleased to join Senator Grassley in introducing the Trafficking Victims' Protection Act of 2017. Last week, I met with a remarkable group of anti-trafficking stakeholders in Fresno, California, who reinforced what I have long held to be true: stamping out the horrific crime of human trafficking must be among our top priorities as lawmakers. At our meeting, Central Valley law enforcement, service providers and, most importantly, survivors of human trafficking educated me about the nature and prevalence of sex and labor trafficking in the Central Valley. I learned that counties like Fresno and Tulare serve as key stops along major California trafficking circuits, with victims as young as 10- years-old being shipped to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and beyond. I also learned that in 2016 alone, Fresno Police arrested more than 140 sex buyers and traffickers. This tells me that the demand for trafficking is far too high. Central Valley law enforcement and service providers are working together to reduce this demand, crack down on traffickers, and better serve victims, through a unique, highly-coordinated and victim-centered approach that I believe ought to be emulated nationwide. Over the past seven years they have teamed up to identify and critically to provide comprehensive services to nearly 500 trafficking victims. When Central Valley law enforcement took down a trafficking ring last year, the ring leader and two of his associates were arrested and prosecuted, and approximately 50 victims were rescued, including 23 children. These victims were all provided with wraparound services, and the ring leader was sentenced to 40 years in prison. This is the kind of coordinated, victim centered work we need to support and replicate nationwide. The Trafficking Victims' Protection Act of 2017 aims to do that. I have now met with law enforcement, service providers and survivors representing Southern, Central and Northern California. All have made one thing abundantly clear: lawmakers at all levels of government must commit whatever time and resources are needed to thwart this horrendous crime. Over the past two decades, Congress has taken action to combat human trafficking. We passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and, 8 years later, passed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. And two years ago, Congress passed the Justice for Victims of Human Trafficking Act--a landmark piece of legislation. The law focuses on reducing demand, rescuing victims, educating law enforcement and judges, and making sure that trafficking enterprises are put out of business. But it is clear that our work is far from done. The human trafficking industry continues to be one of the biggest criminal enterprises in the world and it is constantly evolving. The use of the internet to sell children for sex has escalated dramatically over the past several years. In my home State, District Attorney Nancy O'Malley and her pioneering anti-trafficking team identified 47,719 internet users looking to purchase sex in Alameda County alone during a single month. Many of the victims posted on these sites are underage. In one survivor study, a staggering 75% of minor sex trafficking victims reported being bought or sold online. And last year, the Washington Post reported devastating accounts about human trafficking is also committed by Islamic State fighters, who sell young girls over platforms such as Facebook. The bill that Senator Grassley and I have introduced includes a provision that would give to law enforcement an additional tool to prevent human traffickers from accessing the internet and other tech platforms to sell minors for commercial sex. Under current current law, it is a criminal offense to advertise commercial sex acts with a minor. This legislation would add civil injunction authority to the criminal provision, providing the Department of Justice with a more readily accessible tool to deny human traffickers access to tech platforms to commit trafficking crimes. The bill also supports and strengthens efforts to prevent, detect, and respond to human trafficking crimes. It allows school resource officers at schools to train school personnel to recognize and respond to signs of child sex trafficking. This is important because kids are often recruited at schools. In one heartbreaking case in Oakland, California, a 12-year-old student with top grades suddenly changed her normal behavior. She stopped completing her assignments, became withdrawn, and began wearing provocative clothing. Eventually, she stopped going to school altogether. Her parents contacted the school looking for her, but no one was able to locate her. She was discovered 24 hours later on an online sex advertisement based out of Los Angeles. This 12-year-old girl had been groomed by a trafficker--but no one was able to recognize the signs of exploitation. Teachers and school personnel interact with these kids every day. They are critical in recognizing which kids are at risk or are about to become exploited. We need to be sure that they are familiar with the patterns and practices of human traffickers, and know how to identify and respond to suspected victims. In addition to working with Chairman Grassley on the reauthorization [[Page S3337]] bill, I am also pleased to cosponsor Senator Cornyn and Senator Klobuchar's Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2017. One of the most important provisions of this bill is the mandatory designation of at least one Human Trafficking Justice Coordinator in each United States Attorney's Office. This is critical to ensure that our judicial system treats human trafficking offenses with the seriousness they deserve. Among other responsibilities, this Coordinator will be responsible for assisting in the prosecution of human trafficking cases. This includes the prosecution of those who solicit minors for commercial sex, a change in the law that was enacted in the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. In 2015, former United States Attorney Eileen Decker conducted one of the first federal prosecutions of a buyer under this new statute. The buyer, a 59-year-old man from Torrance, admitted to lying to federal prosecutors about his conduct with a 16-year-old girl he met online and hired for commercial sex acts. He was sentenced to 57 months in prison. Former United States Attorney Decker remarked that this case should serve as a warning to adults who engage in this type of criminal conduct. It is critical that such prosecutions continue. Stemming the abuse and exploitation of trafficking requires confronting not only the predatory suppliers, but also those who solicit young girls for commercial sex. The designation of a Human Trafficking Justice Coordinator would ensure that those who violate human trafficking offenses, both buyers and sellers, are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The Human Justice Trafficking Coordinator would also be responsible for ensuring the collection of restitution for victims. Restitution for trafficking victims is mandatory under federal law. Moreover, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act requires the Justice Department to train prosecutors to seek restitution for trafficking victims, regardless of whether the victim requests restitution. Yet, we continue to see our judicial system failing to do right by victims. In a 2015 law review article, the Human Trafficking Pro Bono Legal Center reported on the appallingly low rates of restitution orders in human trafficking prosecutions. In a study of federal human trafficking cases brought over a four period, federal courts failed to order restitution in nearly two-thirds of cases involving sex trafficking offenses. And shockingly, they found that the victims least likely to obtain restitution orders were children trafficked in the sex industry. Less than one in three defendants who commit sex trafficking offenses against children were ordered to pay restitution to their victims. This is unacceptable. Furthermore, even if restitution is ordered against a trafficker, restitution itself is not being effectively collected. In response the requests from the Judiciary Committee, the Attorney General included restitution order and collection data in the Department of Justice's report on trafficking for fiscal year 2015. Of the $4,268,358 ordered in restitution in 2015, only $987 was collected. While we may not expect to see full restitution collected in the year it is ordered, it is shocking that the total restitution collected is less than 1% of what was ordered. That is why we have tried to include additional restitution provisions in the bill to better support victims. For example, there is an additional provision in the bill to update the Combat Human Trafficking Act of 2015, a bill that I authored with Senator Portman. That bill mandated extensive training on restitution for prosecutors and judges. It is our hope that with these updates--and with the recent enactment of the Justice for All Reauthorization Act of 2016 to make sure that prosecutors are held accountable in seeking restitution-- victims will be better supported going forward. I am hopeful that we will be able to pass these bipartisan bills this Congress. I urge my colleagues in this body to support the passage of this important, comprehensive legislation to protect trafficking victims. ______ By Mr. CASSIDY (for himself, Mrs. Gillibrand, and Mrs. Capito): S. 1313. A bill to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Mrs. GILLIBRAND. Mr. President, I thank the senior Senator from Louisiana for working with me on the flood insurance bill that we are introducing today. This issue is so important to both of our States because both of our States have experienced enormous levels of flooding every year due to extreme weather. In New York, after Superstorm Sandy hit our State, millions of homes and businesses were damaged by flooding that occurred. My colleague from Louisiana could go on and on and will tell you about flood damage his own constituents have had to endure, so it should be clear to everyone here that it is not a partisan issue. Flooding can happen anywhere, in any State, from the Northeast to the gulf coast and everywhere else. Protecting our communities from the devastation that comes from flooding should be one of our highest priorities in this Chamber. Unfortunately, the National Flood Insurance Program has not been doing its job very well. Too many families who have had their properties damaged in a flood or even destroyed in a flood have paid their flood insurance premiums year after year only to find out there was some loophole that prevented them from getting the coverage they need. We cannot turn our backs and allow this to keep happening. The bipartisan bill I have written with the Senator from Louisiana would ensure that flood insurance is more affordable for homeowners. It would make sure the Flood Insurance Program is no longer riddled with loopholes that leave our homeowners stranded and fighting with insurance companies on their own, all while trying to recover and rebuild from the flood damage. It would finally give homeowners the peace of mind that flood insurance rates will actually be affordable so that low- and moderate-income homeowners are not priced out of their homes because of extreme rate increases. Our bill would also fund more projects to protect homes and communities from flood risk in the first place. Our bill would more than double the amount of funding a homeowner can receive for raising the elevation of their home, which is a proven way to protect against floods in certain areas, and it would provide more funding for FEMA's flood mitigation program. Those funds are used by States and local communities to plan and carry out projects that help manage flood risk to homes and other structures. After Superstorm Sandy hit New York, too many families in my State experienced what amounted to a disaster after that disaster. They encountered engineering fraud. They had to deal with excessive delays and widespread underpayment of claims. This was shameful and totally unacceptable, especially for a program specifically designed to help people in their greatest time of need. So I am particularly pleased that this bill would fix some of the fundamental flaws in the National Flood Insurance Program's claims and appeals process that harmed so many of my constituents. Our bill would prohibit engineering reports from being altered by anyone other than the person who inspected the home. That was one of the main causes of fraud for many homeowners in my State. It would require FEMA to have more direct oversight over the litigation costs and engineering costs that are billed to the government. It would repeal the onerous earth movement exemption, which too often has been used to deny flood claims to families who desperately need the payments after a flood. Our bill also would ensure that engineers and insurance companies are not shielded from legal liability when they do commit fraud, which, unfortunately, was much more common than anyone would even think. The Flood Insurance Program expires on September 30 of this year, and it is absolutely vital that we reauthorize it with strong reforms that protect homeowners. We need to do everything we can to ensure that the Flood Insurance Program is affordable, sustainable, transparent, and accountable. This is our chance to do that now. [[Page S3338]] This is a good bipartisan bill, and I urge all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join us in making these important reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program. I yield the floor now to my colleague from Louisiana. Mr. CASSIDY. Mr. President, I thank my colleague from New York for yielding, as well as for the tremendous work she and our staffs have done together on the Flood Insurance Affordability and Sustainability Act of 2017. There is a capriciousness of flooding which makes the National Flood Insurance Program so important. You can have a mountaintop village next to a dry gulch. If there is a sudden flash flood, folks who have lived there 100 years suddenly find their 100-year-old homes destroyed. The NFIP helps rebuild the lives of those who are so affected. The Flood Insurance Program is critical, not just to that mountaintop village but, by extension, our entire country. The economic impact of flooding extends far beyond real estate transactions to the fundamental vitality of communities and the workforce that operates our ports, develops and refines our domestic energy, and produces our seafood and agriculture for global consumption. It just makes sense. Most towns started on the coast and on riverways because that is how goods were transported, and the history of these waterside communities is what makes them, one, economically vital, but, two, also makes them susceptible to flooding. I will note that the Presiding Officer's State of Pennsylvania, I believe, has among the most incidents of flooding in our country--principally because there are so many riverine systems. There is a valley with a river. If the water rises quickly, that riverside community is flooded. Look at my State of Louisiana. It relies on an accessible and affordable flood insurance program, but that benefits the country. Louisiana is the No. 1 producer of offshore oil and gas, producing over 15 percent of our Nation's domestic energy supply. That is 15 percent of our Nation's domestic energy supply. It is home to the second largest refining capacity in petrochemical industry. The Gulf of Mexico is home to 11 of the top 20 U.S. ports by cargo volume, and we have one of the largest seafood industries in the world. After Hurricane Katrina, when our port facilities were affected and the farmers in the Upper Missouri suddenly could not get their crop to international markets, it shows the importance of our ports for our entire economy. The National Flood Insurance Program allows folks in my State to participate in a working coast that gets that energy inland and gets those products in the international market, and this is what provides the value-added contribution to our domestic economy. Since the creation of the National Flood Insurance Program, people in Louisiana paid over $5 billion in flood insurance premiums, but, unfortunately, we have suffered some of the greatest losses after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustov, Isaac, and the flooding of the great Louisiana floods of last March and August. While the NFIP has a deficit of $24 billion--according to FEMA's premium and payout data--the NFIP would have had a surplus if we remove the 2005 loss year, including the losses incurred after Superstorm Sandy. I will also note that New Orleans flooded because federally built floodwalls designed to protect those businesses and families were constructed in a faulty way. This has been recognized, and their failure is what led to the expense. I am not here to say that NFIP doesn't need reforms--it needs reforms--but to underscore the fact that the program has worked for many years despite its failings. We need to reauthorize the NFIP and use the opportunity to improve the program, make it more affordable, transferring more risk to the private sector at a lower cost, increase investment mitigation, modernizing flood mapping to produce greater accuracy, and improve the transparency and accountability of all the participants that operate and administer the program. There are a number of constituencies interested in long-term reauthorization of NFIP. Senator Gillibrand and I know that the issue of flooding crosses party and geographical lines. We wanted to set the right bipartisan tone as Congress begins to debate the issue by introducing our bill, the Flood Insurance Affordability and Sustainability Act. We hope the legislation will contribute to the ongoing discussion and work the committees of jurisdiction are conducting as we move toward reauthorization of the NFIP and with the needed reforms that enhance affordability and sustainability of the program. Senator Gillibrand and her staff are passionate advocates for an affordable and sustainable flood insurance program. I am glad to work with her on this issue. We have listened to many stakeholders: bankers, realtors, homebuilders, flood plain managers, insurers, reinsurers, mapping experts, local government officials, financial experts and, most importantly, homeowners who work on our working coast and who have so much invested in making sure they can live and raise their families in a way which has protection from the capriciousness of flooding. I thank my colleague from New York, as well as Senator Capito, for her contribution to this legislation and process. ______ By Mr. KAINE (for himself and Mr. WARNER): S. 1314. A bill to amend the Natural Gas Act to bolster fairness and transparency in consideration of interstate natural gas pipelines, to provide for greater public input opportunities, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Mr. KAINE. Mr. President. Today I am introducing a bipartisan bill to make the process of siting natural gas pipelines fairer and more transparent. For some time now, I have been listening to Virginians with passionate views on the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines. For various reasons, many oppose one or both of these projects, while others support these projects. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, FERC, is tasked with analyzing all the issues-- purpose and need for a project, impacts on 2 'people living on the route, potential risks to the environment or property--and deciding what course best serves the public interest. From listening to all sides, I have concluded that while reasonable people may reach different conclusions, FERC's public input process is flawed and could be better. Accordingly, this legislation proposes several steps to address several shortcomings, all of which were originally brought to my attention by Virginia constituents. For instance, this bill requires programmatic analysis of pipelines proposed around the same time and in the same geographic vicinity so that the full impacts of multiple projects can be analyzed. It requires a greater number of public comment meetings so that citizens are not required to commute long distances to meetings at which they must speed through just a few minutes of remarks on these complex topics. And it clarifies the circumstances under which eminent domain should and should not be used. I am pleased to be joined by my colleague Senator Mark Warner on this bill, and our Virginia Republican colleague Representative Morgan Griffith is preparing a similar bill in the House of Representatives. While our views may differ on many aspects of energy policy, we can all agree that the public deserves reasonable opportunity to weigh in on energy infrastructure projects and that this process can be fairer and more transparent without mandating a particular outcome. I encourage the Senate to consider this legislation, not to pave the way for pipelines nor to throw up insurmountable roadblocks to them-- but to give the public greater certainty that the federal government's infrastructure decisions are fair and transparent. ____________________