Thursday, July 25, 2013

NJ's Chiesa gives first speech on US Senate floor

NJ's Chiesa gives first speech on US Senate floor Travel Deals $119 -- D.C. Hotel near Dupont Circle w/Breakfast & Parking See all travel deals » ANGELA DELLI SANTI, The Associated Press POSTED: Tuesday, July 23, 2013, 3:04 PM TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The person Gov. Chris Christie chose to temporarily fill a vacancy in the U.S. Senate gave his first official speech on Tuesday, saying he'll use his brief time in Washington to raise awareness about the crime of human trafficking. Sen. Jeffrey Chiesa, who is serving in the Senate for four months ending in October, said he rejected the notion that he's a caretaker. Chiesa vowed to uphold the honor of the office by working hard while he's representing New Jersey. "No one who has the high honor and privilege of serving in this body should ever be content to serve as a caretaker, to merely keep the seat warm," said Chiesa, 48. "Representing the people even for a brief period of time demands that one work to make a difference." In his 10-minute address, Chiesa talked about the costs of human trafficking on victims and society. He's led efforts to combat trafficking in two previous jobs under Christie, assistant U.S. attorney and attorney general. He praised last week's arrests of six people accused of moving Mexican women into the United States illegally and making them work as prostitutes, often after promising them jobs as housecleaners or baby sitters, and said aggressive anti-trafficking efforts would continue leading up to the 2014 Super Bowl at Met Life Stadium. He referred to trafficking as "modern-day slavery" and urged his new colleagues to close loopholes that enable y women and children to be kept in bondage. A Republican like Christie, Chiesa was appointed to the seat until a special election to fill the post Sen. Frank Lautenberg held until he died in office on June 3. Christie set the election for Oct. 16, with party primaries on Aug. 13. Chiesa is not running for the seat. Four Democrats and two Republicans are in the race. The best known is Cory Booker. The two-term Newark mayor is far ahead in public opinion polls. Chiesa began the address by joking that his maiden speech and farewell address would be one and the same if he had waited much longer to address the chamber.

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