Matt Gaetz, a Florida congressman who is currently under investigation for possibly having sex with a 17-year-old and then paying for her to travel over state lines, was one of 20 Republicans who voted “No” to reauthorize an anti-human trafficking law on Wednesday.
The “No” votes ultimately didn’t matter, since the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022 was approved in the House for reauthorization with a 401 votes to 20.
The act, which has been renewed multiple times since its inception with very little opposition, focuses on severe penalties for perpetrators, particularly involving sex trafficking, and also bolsters support services for victims. Notably, the 20 “No” votes come from a party that currently doesn’t hold back from labeling anyone who opposes their legislation as “groomers” and “pedos,” and also comes as one of their most vocal personalities is under investigation for being a possible “groomer” and pedophile.
The investigation into Gaetz began back in 2020, and his former “wingman” and former Seminole County Tax Collector, Joel Greenberg, has already plead guilty on six charges of sex tracking.
Currently, the District 1 Panhandle Republican has not been charged with any crimes. But it’s worth pointing out that Greenberg had his sentencing delayed in order to further the investigation into Gaetz, according to Politico.
This actually isn’t the first time Gaetz has voted against a sex trafficking-related measure. In 2017, Gaetz was the only “No” vote on a bipartisan human-trafficking bill that passed unanimously through the U.S. Senate and House by a count of 418 to 1.
This story originally appeared at Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.