In 2017, Gaetz Was The Sole No Vote On A Bipartisan Anti-Human Trafficking Bill
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz told The Miami Herald last year that he does not believe investigating the outcome of pedophile multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s case is a wise move, saying it would set a “dangerous” precedent of second-guessing prosecutorial decisions.
Gaetz stood quite alone in his opposition to probing the matter, which involved President Donald Trump’s former labor secretary and former US attorney Alex Acosta.
But this is not the first time Gaetz has separated himself from the pack on an issue that appears to have nearly unanimous bipartisan support.
In December 2017, the Florida congressman cast the sole “no” vote on a bill that would further the federal government’s ability to investigate and prosecute human trafficking.
At the time, Gaetz defended his decision by saying it was not a vote against anti-human trafficking legislation but a vote against expanding the size of government, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
In a live Facebook video, Gaetz said, "Where there is a necessity to change legal standards to bring prosecutions against human traffickers, I'm all in,” adding that he has successfully worked to implement similar legislation at the state level.
But Gaetz went on to say that without “an overwhelming, compelling reason that our existing agencies in the federal government can't handle” human trafficking, he does not want to “go and create more federal government.”
It would seem that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle concurred that more federal government was necessary in this situation, as the measure passed both houses of Congress on December 19, 2017.