U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) issued the following statement regarding President Obama's newly announced executive order mirroring Rubio-sponsored legislation (S. 2234, "The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act of 2012") to crack down on human trafficking in government contracting:
"I commend President Obama for using his platform in New York today to highlight the tragedy of modern day slavery through human trafficking. Today's executive order is a welcome step to fight unknowingly U.S. taxpayer-funded human trafficking in government contracts.
"When Congress returns to work after the election, it should continue to work toward the passage of S.2234 which would make federal efforts to end this practice law instead of an executive order which can be rescinded at any time. Additionally, Congress should re-authorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act through S. 1301. This bill expired last year and it is essential that this cornerstone of human trafficking legislation be renewed."
In March 2012, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Al Franken (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Rubio introduced "The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act". Despite a "zero tolerance" policy, investigations have found that human trafficking by federal government contractors and subcontractors operating overseas remains a serious problem. "The End Trafficking in Government Contracting Act" addresses this problem by enhancing prevention, accountability, and enforcement with regard to these trafficking abuses.