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GOP brings attention to victims of sex, labor trafficking

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is urging Congress to tackle the "unimaginable pain" that victims of sex and labor trafficking have suffered.

"Too often we hear that this sort of thing just 'doesn't happen where I live,'" Grassley said in the weekly GOP address. "The cruel truth is that trafficking is found in all 50 states."

"Shoving this horrific activity into the shadows only denies opportunity for a young girl or boy who deserves much better," Grassley continued in the video.

And that's why the Iowa lawmaker, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, is backing legislation to prevent trafficking crimes -- a bill titled the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, which passed unanimously out of committee.

The party also touted it as a bipartisan achievement with a bill that would provide resources for survivors of sex and labor trafficking as well as ensuring proper dollars would go to law enforcement efforts.

"It's evidence that Congress can set aside partisan differences and work together to get things done for the American people," Grassley said.

The committee fast-tracked the anti-trafficking bill, and the legislation will soon be up for debate on the floor. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, introduced a similar bill in the House.

"Working together, we can stop criminal depravity and restore dignity to survivors," the Iowa lawmaker said. "With passage of bipartisan legislation, we can bring justice to the moral injustice and criminal mistreatment of our fellow human beings."

In his own address, the president celebrates Sunday's International Women's Day with a push to increase education access for young girls around the world.

"We're making it clear to any country that's our partner -- or that wants to be our partner -- that they need to get serious about increasing the number of girls in school," the president said in a video introducing the new "Let Girls Learn" initiative.

Countries across the globe fail over 62 million girls, neglecting to educate them, the president said.

The president also pointed to the economic benefits associated with a female population that receives better schooling.

"When girls are educated, their future children are healthier and better nourished," Mr. Obama said. "Their future wages increase, which in turn strengthens their families' security. National growth gets a boost, too. And places where women and girls are treated as full and equal citizens tend to be more stable and more democratic."

"In too many parts of the world, girls are still valued more for their bodies than for their minds," the president said. "That's just plain wrong. And we all have to do more to stop it."