Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions opposed the Violence Against Women Act.
Ninety-three senators voted in favor of the amendment to combat human trafficking. Sessions was among five who opposed it.
North Alabama's Crisis Center's Bill Farris about said some of the Center's funding comes from this legislation. He is not sure why the senator would be opposed to it. In fact, Farris and Sessions worked together on a women's rights project a few years ago in Mobile.
The amendment Sessions opposed helps law enforcement investigate human trafficking and supports international efforts to stop the practice.
"Legislation is a complicated process, and passing a bill is a complicated process. I've known Senator Sessions for a long time and personally know that he's not opposed to anything that would help reduce the amount of violence against women," Farris said.
In a statement, Session said he supports the Violence Against Women Act. He said he voted for a stronger version of the bill compared to the one that ultimately passed. He also explained that during his time as a federal prosecutor, he understands the importance of serious penalties.
Sessions' full statement:
I support the core functions of VAWA and have my entire time in the Senate. I voted for a stronger version of the bill, that increased criminal penalties, than the one that ultimately passed. As a former federal prosecutor who put people in prison for violent acts, I understand the importance of serious penalties for these serious crimes. I have recently passed into law two measures that help federal authorities track down sex offenders. Amazingly, the Majority chose to advance a bill that included unconstitutional provisions that subject American citizens to trial in a sovereign tribal court, the personnel of which have no democratic accountability to the American public. They steadfastly rejected attempts to alter this unacceptable provision.
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