COMBATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN COMMERCIAL VEHICLES ACT; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 207
(House of Representatives - December 19, 2017)

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[Pages H10218-H10220]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




         COMBATING HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN COMMERCIAL VEHICLES ACT

  Mr. GRAVES of Missouri. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and 
pass the bill (S. 1536) to designate a human trafficking prevention 
coordinator and to expand the scope of activities authorized under the 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's outreach and education 
program to include human trafficking prevention activities, and for 
other purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                S. 1536

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Combating Human Trafficking 
     in Commercial Vehicles Act''.

     SEC. 2. HUMAN TRAFFICKING PREVENTION COORDINATOR.

       The Secretary of Transportation shall designate an official 
     within the Department of Transportation who shall--
       (1) coordinate human trafficking prevention efforts across 
     modal administrations in the Department of Transportation and 
     with other departments and agencies of the Federal 
     Government; and
       (2) in coordinating such efforts, take into account the 
     unique challenges of combating human trafficking within 
     different transportation modes.

     SEC. 3. EXPANSION OF OUTREACH AND EDUCATION PROGRAM.

       Section 31110(c)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is 
     amended by adding at the end the following: ``The program 
     authorized under this subsection may support, in addition to 
     funds otherwise available for such purposes, the recognition, 
     prevention, and reporting of human trafficking, while 
     deferring to existing resources, as practicable.''.

     SEC. 4. EXPANSION OF COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE FINANCIAL 
                   ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

       Section 31313(a)(3) of title 49, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) in subparagraph (D), by striking ``or'' at the end;
       (2) by redesignating subparagraph (E) as subparagraph (F); 
     and
       (3) by inserting after subparagraph (D) the following:
       ``(E) support, in addition to funds otherwise available for 
     such purposes, the recognition, prevention, and reporting of 
     human trafficking; or''.

     SEC. 5. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 
                   ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

       (a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish an 
     advisory committee on human trafficking.
       (b) Membership.--
       (1) Composition.--The Committee shall be composed of not 
     more than 15 external stakeholder members whose diverse 
     experience and background enable them to provide balanced 
     points of view with regard to carrying out the duties of the 
     Committee.
       (2) Selection.--The Secretary shall appoint the external 
     stakeholder members to the Committee, including 
     representatives from--
       (A) trafficking advocacy organizations;
       (B) law enforcement; and
       (C) trucking, bus, rail, aviation, maritime, and port 
     sectors, including industry and labor.
       (3) Periods of appointment.--Members shall be appointed for 
     the life of the Committee.
       (4) Vacancies.--A vacancy in the Committee shall be filled 
     in the manner in which the original appointment was made and 
     shall not affect the powers or duties of the Committee.
       (5) Compensation.--Committee members shall serve without 
     compensation.
       (c) Authority.--Not later than 9 months after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish and 
     appoint all members of the Committee.
       (d) Duties.--
       (1) Recommendations for the department of transportation.--
     Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the Committee shall make recommendations to the 
     Secretary on actions the Department can take to help combat 
     human trafficking, including the development and 
     implementation of--
       (A) successful strategies for identifying and reporting 
     instances of human trafficking; and
       (B) recommendations for administrative or legislative 
     changes necessary to use programs, properties, or other 
     resources owned, operated, or funded by the Department to 
     combat human trafficking.

[[Page H10219]]

       (2) Best practices and recommendations.--
       (A) In general.--The Committee shall develop recommended 
     best practices for States and State and local transportation 
     stakeholders to follow in combating human trafficking.
       (B) Development.--The best practices shall be based on 
     multidisciplinary research and promising, evidence-based 
     models and programs.
       (C) Content.--The best practices shall be user-friendly, 
     incorporate the most up-to-date technology, and include the 
     following:
       (i) Sample training materials.
       (ii) Strategies to identify victims.
       (iii) Sample protocols and recommendations, including--

       (I) strategies to collect, document, and share data across 
     systems and agencies;
       (II) strategies to help agencies better understand the 
     types of trafficking involved, the scope of the problem, and 
     the degree of victim interaction with multiple systems; and
       (III) strategies to identify effective pathways for State 
     agencies to utilize their position in educating critical 
     stakeholder groups and assisting victims.

       (D) Informing states of best practices.--The Secretary 
     shall ensure that State Governors and State departments of 
     transportation are notified of the best practices and 
     recommendations.
       (e) Reports.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall--
       (1) submit a report on the actions of the Committee 
     described in subsection (d) to--
       (A) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 
     of the Senate; and
       (B) the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of 
     the House of Representatives; and
       (2) make the report under paragraph (1) publicly available 
     both physically and online.
       (f) Definitions.--In this section:
       (1) Committee.--The term ``Committee'' means the Department 
     of Transportation Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking 
     established under subsection (a).
       (2) Human trafficking.--The term ``human trafficking'' 
     means an act or practice described in paragraph (9) or 
     paragraph (10) of section 103 of the Trafficking Victims 
     Protection Act of 2000 (22 U.S.C. 7102).
       (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
     of Transportation.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Missouri (Mr. Graves) and the gentlewoman from the District of Columbia 
(Ms. Norton) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Missouri.


                             General Leave

  Mr. GRAVES of Missouri. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and 
to include extraneous material on S. 1536.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Missouri?
  There was no objection.

                              {time}  1500

  Mr. GRAVES of Missouri. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, S. 1536 empowers the Department of Transportation to 
play an important role in combating human trafficking. Specifically 
what this bill does is it directs the Secretary of Transportation to 
designate a human trafficking prevention coordinator from within the 
Department; it expands the scope of activities authorized under the 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's outreach and education 
program and under the Commercial Driver's License program 
implementation grants to include human trafficking prevention 
activities; and it requires the Secretary to establish an advisory 
committee on human trafficking.
  S. 1536 is supported by Members on both sides of the aisle, and it 
passed the Senate with unanimous consent.
  I would like to commend Ms. Esty for her leadership on the House 
version of this bill. Because of her work and her partnership on this 
with Mr. Katko, the House version passed through committee unanimously.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support S. 1536, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this bill as well. S. 1536 
will help ensure that the U.S. Department of Transportation has the 
necessary tools to reduce the prevalence of human trafficking in 
commercial vehicles.
  In 2016, more than 7,000 cases of human trafficking were reported to 
the National Human Trafficking Hotline. With this legislation, Congress 
is stepping in to ensure DOT has additional authority and resources to 
combat this egregious crime.
  This bill provides the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 
FMCSA, more flexibility to combat human trafficking by authorizing 
funding from two existing grant programs to be used to support the 
reporting and the prevention of human trafficking. The bill will also 
help DOT coordinate efforts to fight human trafficking with other 
Federal agencies, and it establishes an advisory committee on human 
trafficking.
  The advisory committee will convene experts from law enforcement, 
victim advocacy organizations, and the transportation industry to 
advise DOT of concrete steps it can take to improve the recognition and 
the prevention of trafficking.
  The advisory committee will also develop and share best practices 
with State and local stakeholders so that they are better equipped to 
combat the trafficking in their own communities.
  The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure reported an 
identical bill, H.R. 3813, authored by the gentlewoman from Connecticut 
(Ms. Esty), to the House in November.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill, 
and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GRAVES of Missouri. Mr. Speaker, I don't have any speakers, and I 
reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Connecticut (Ms. Esty), the author of the bill.
  Ms. ESTY of Connecticut. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for 
yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise to strongly support the passage of S. 1536, the 
Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act. This 
bipartisan, bicameral bill is an important step in combating the 
terrible crime of human trafficking.
  The Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act will help 
stem the tide of trafficking by providing training to commercial truck 
drivers through the Department of Transportation to recognize and 
report trafficking, further empowering them to prevent this horrendous 
crime.
  Specifically, this bill designates a human trafficking prevention 
coordinator at the U.S. Department of Transportation and increases 
outreach, education, and reporting efforts at the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Administration.
  Mr. Speaker, human trafficking is an appalling and inhumane crime, 
and it is occurring in communities all over my home State of 
Connecticut and throughout the entire United States. As I learned when 
a human trafficking ring was broken up in my small hometown, anyone can 
become a victim of this crime regardless of race, age, gender, or 
socioeconomic status.
  This appalling crime takes many forms, the vast majority of which are 
sexually exploitative in nature. Shockingly, the average age a teen 
enters the sex trade in the United States is 12 to 14 years old, and 
many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.
  Truckers and commercial drivers are often the first line of defense 
against human trafficking in the United States. Their eyes and ears are 
on the roads, where victims are being moved across borders and from 
city to city.
  The Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act is 
supported by Truckers Against Trafficking, the National District 
Attorneys Association, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the 
Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association, and ECPAT-USA.
  I am proud to be the coauthor of the House companion to the No Human 
Trafficking on Our Roads Act along with my friend, John Katko of New 
York.

  I am also pleased that we will be voting today on another bill that 
Congressman Katko and I coauthored, the No Human Trafficking on Our 
Roads Act.
  Both bills were originally introduced in the Senate by Senators 
Klobuchar and Thune and passed unanimously. Both bills were also passed 
unanimously out of the House Transportation and Infrastructure 
Committee.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my friends and colleagues to join me in voting 
``yes''

[[Page H10220]]

on the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act and the 
No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act today so we can send these very 
important pieces of legislation to the President's desk for his swift 
signature.
  Mr. Speaker, again, I want to thank my Republican and Democratic 
colleagues both in the House and the Senate for their work on these two 
important bills.
  Mr. GRAVES of Missouri. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Michigan (Mrs. Lawrence).
  Mrs. LAWRENCE. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleague, Ms. Norton, 
for having this amazing interest to our country put before us for a 
vote.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of S. 1532, No Human Trafficking on 
Our Roads, and S. 1536, the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial 
Vehicles Act.
  As the vice chair of the congressional bipartisan Caucus for Women's 
Issues and a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, 
I am pleased that we are solving these issues of real concern.
  Human trafficking is an inexcusable crime. According to the National 
Human Trafficking Resource Center, about 8 in 10 reported victims are 
women. It is a crime that exploits women more than anyone else, and 
especially young girls.
  Mr. Speaker, combating human trafficking is a serious concern of 
mine. Unfortunately, in my district--I represent the Metro Detroit 
area--a major international transportation and shipping hub in 
southeast Michigan, we rank number seven in total human trafficking 
cases reported in our country.
  These bills mark progress toward combating human trafficking. We are 
improving our systems to better recognize and report this crime. We are 
closing loopholes in our transportation system that traffickers have 
taken advantage of for far too long.
  I am proud to support these bills, and I urge my colleagues to 
support them as well.
  Mr. Speaker, today I needed a vote and a voice for something that is 
good for this country, and so I stand here in support.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GRAVES of Missouri. Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to join me 
in supporting this important legislation.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Yoder). The question is on the motion 
offered by the gentleman from Missouri (Mr. Graves) that the House 
suspend the rules and pass the bill, S. 1536.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. GRAVES of Missouri. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and 
nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

                          ____________________