The bill still passed by 401 votes to 20
On July 26, Georgia's Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor-Greene was one of just 20 House Republicans who voted against the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention & Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022. Given that the bill was intended to put in place measures to prevent human-trafficking, to punish those who commit the crime and to help those who have been victim of it, her motivation to vote against seems hard to understand.
True to form?
While it seems unfathomable why a politician would vote against measures to reduce the instances and impacts of people trafficking - given the otherwise unanimous bipartisan support that the bill received - it's not unusual for Taylor-Greene to take a contrarian stance.
She recently voted against providing humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine in the wake of Russia's invasion of the country, and was one of only two Republicans to vote against that bill - the other being Thomas Massie of Kentucky. Massie was also one of those who voted against the people trafficking bill on July 26.
Motivated by publicity rather than public good?
It's hard to fathom why Taylor-Greene would consistently vote against bills which seem to be focused on doing positive things for other human beings, and it seems as though there's a pattern for some Republicans currently to vote based on what will give them the most publicity.
Amongst the other notable Republicans who voted against the bill, were Lauren Boebert of Colorado and Matt Gaetz of Florida - two of the Republican Party's more controversial and divisive representatives.
Cynical commentators on Twitter were quick to latch onto other facts that seem significant in regard to Gaetz and human trafficking:
- In 2017 he was the only representative to vote against a human trafficking bill
- He is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice for alleged human trafficking of a 17-year-old girl across state borders
Gaetz and Taylor-Greene - a team?
Gaetz and Taylor-Greene have often worked together on controversial initiatives that granted them publicity, occasionally for the wrong reasons. In 2021, the pair embarked on a tour of California but found themselves hindered when many venues on their 'America First' series of rallies chose to cancel their bookings.
After this happened in Anaheim, they staged an impromptu meet-and-greet on the beach where the pair were pranked by a man posing as a fan. An embarrassing video of the prank later appeared online.
While such moments are embarrassing for politicians, many of those who have voted for them and put them in positions of power will likely be questioning why they don't seem to act with greater responsibility and concern for doing what's right. Time will tell if they remain in power in the long term.
Do you think Marjorie Taylor-Greene should be voting in favor of bills that have a clear humanitarian purpose rather than using the votes to gain publicity for herself? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.