Northwest Florida congressman Matt Gaetz on Wednesday cast the lone vote in the U.S. House of Representatives against a bill aimed at combating human trafficking.
The bill, S 1536 — also referred to as the “Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act” — tasks the U.S. Department of Transportation with designating an official to coordinate human trafficking prevention efforts across various federal departments and agencies. It would also set up an unpaid advisory committee to make recommendations to DOT officials about how to better combat human trafficking.
It’s the committee that apparently rankled Gaetz, who was the only member of Congress to vote against the bill after it passed unanimously in the Senate.
“I vote against all bills that create new federal boards/commissions/agencies,” Gaetz said on Twitter.
The bill was adopted on a vote of 418-1 and will now head to President Donald Trump for his signature.
Human trafficking remains a major concern in Northwest Florida, where the cross-country Interstate 10 corridor runs through the region. Florida ranks third in the United States for human trafficking cases. Some 550 human trafficking cases were reported in the state in 2016. A regional human trafficking task force encompassing Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, and Walton counties was organized last year by Florida Department of Children and Families and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.