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Holly's News From Washington: time to act!
We at IJM have been working around the clock over the past week to help our anti-slavery champion, Senator Bob Corker, bring the End Modern Slavery Initiative (EMSI) to the Senate floor for a vote. It is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, March 8. EMSI, if enacted, would create a public-private foundation to fund slavery eradication in heavily-burdened countries. EMSI’s approach prioritizes actually freeing slaves and bringing perpetrators to justice. Senator Corker was inspired to develop this legislation by IJM’s anti-slavery casework around the world.
The Senate Majority leader has agreed to schedule the vote on EMSI, and we have every reason to believe that it will be enacted. The bill has 37 Senate cosponsors, both Republicans and Democrats, and there are surely another 14 who have not cosponsored the bill but will support it when they have a chance to vote. There’s probably not a single Senate office that hasn’t been contacted by anti-slavery activists in their home states urging them to support EMSI.
The big question today is whether they will have that chance. Three Senators, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) have placed a “hold” on the bill. That means, they are opposing the bill even coming up for a vote. IJM has thousands of friends in Texas, Utah and Oklahoma: I can say with certainty that the Senators’ constituents at home care passionately about modern-day slavery and are thrilled that legislation modelled on IJM’s experience is close to becoming a reality. This is an occasion where every Senator can vote their conscience—and all of them abhor the crime, as we do—in the full assurance that those back home whom they have the honor to represent in Washington, strongly support their doing so.
Take action! If you are from Texas, Utah, or Oklahoma, please make a phone call for freedom today.
Click on your senator's name above to access the resources and make the call today.