The Current

Advocacy News + Updates

We’re still digging out from Washington’s fourth largest blizzard in history, “Snowzilla.” It’s mandatory to disparage our nation’s Capitol when it snows—especially if you migrated here from the Midwest. Well, I’m from the Midwest—I grew up in Ohio and Iowa—and I love my adopted, southern city. Precisely because it is a southern city, it’s not economical to lay in the plows and trucks that Chicago and Cleveland depend on. So when we get a really big storm, it means our Metro mass transit system closes, the federal government closes, and our cars are buried for days. My neighborhood, Capitol Hill, had a party atmosphere, with nothing but kids and their sleds and neighborhood dogs on the roads. Folks helped each other shovel their sidewalks. We all made popcorn, drank red wine (well, my teenage daughters drank cocoa!) and binge-watched Masterpiece Theater. In short, it’s been absolutely wonderful. 

Now that mass transit is up and running and Congress is in session, they have just a few months to get a year’s work done. Here’s why:  in an election year, House members – all of whom are up for reelection – and Senators (particularly the 34 who are running for reelection) are eager to pack up and go home to campaign. Although adjournment is tentatively set for October 7, they could end up leaving even earlier. Congress must pass its 12 appropriations bills, which will occupy much of calendar. Experts have told us that if other legislation isn’t done by the end of May, it won’t get done at all in this Congress.

Our top priority is the End Modern Slavery Initiative (S.553) which was introduced last Spring and voted unanimously out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Our Senate champions, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) are looking for ways to bring the bill to the Senate floor in coming weeks and months. 

We’re doing everything we can to help. Friends of IJM around the United States have helped create enormous political support for the End Modern Slavery Initiative. The bill now has 33 Senate sponsors. Six have come on just since Christmas!

We at IJM are grateful for the thousands of Americans who told their Senators that they care about slavery and urged them to sponsor S.553. And we’re grateful for the following Senators who listened!

Join us in saying THANK YOU!

Click here to access our End Modern Slavery Initiative tweet page, where we provide you with everything you need to tweet your senators and thank them for their support—or ask them to co-sponsor the #EndSlaveryAct if they haven't yet done so!

Senator Bob CorkerSenator Robert Menendez
Senator Marco RubioSenator Jeanne Shaheen
Senator Kelly AyotteSenator Christopher Coons
Senator John McCainSenator Richard Blumenthal
Senator Lamar AlexanderSenator Rob Portman
Senator Mark KirkSenator Benjamin Cardin
Senator Johnny IsaksonSenator Thad Cochran
Senator Tom UdallSenator Heidi Heitkamp
Senator Gary PetersSenator Brian Schatz
Senator Edward MarkeySenator Susan Collins
Senator Elizabeth WarrenSenator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Maria CantwellSenator Richard Burr
Senator Mazie HironoSenator Thom Tillis
Senator Bill NelsonSenator Jack Reed
Senator Sherrod BrownSenator Kirsten Gillibrand
Senator Dianne FeinsteinSenator Jeff Merkley
Senator Christopher MurphySenator Tammy Baldwin

We've got to see this through before the end of May!