I am committed to your family and to your neighbor's family. This includes everything from protecting your children from distasteful Internet sites and fighting domestic violence to ensuring quality education and a job for every American who wants one.
I will work with my colleagues to ensure children's safety, including missing and exploited children; runaway and homeless youth; international child abduction; sex trafficking of children; child pornography; child safety and Internet safety, and corporate and community involvement. I will work to give parents the tools and resources they need to provide a safe neighborhood for their family, access to quality healthcare and financial assistance in special times of need.
I support tough crime laws and providing incentives to states to increase enforcement of existing laws. I strongly believe all violations of the law should be dealt with in a manner that delivers justice on behalf of victims and their families. As a society, we must focus on preventing crime from affecting our communities.
I will continue to support the Department of Justice, which enforces existing federal regulations pertaining to illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia is any legitimate equipment, product, or material that is modified for making, using, or concealing illegal drugs such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. Under the Federal Drug Paraphernalia Statute, it is illegal to possess, sell, transport, import, or export drug paraphernalia. Moreover, there are different state laws that have been enacted to prohibit the proliferation of illegal drug paraphernalia.
The Second Amendment is a testament to the freedoms and liberties that Americans enjoy. It, as much as any other part of the Constitution, speaks to the Founding Fathers' belief in self-reliant citizens and a limited role for the federal government. There is every reason to believe that unnecessary regulations on gun ownership violate the principles on which this nation was founded. As a member of the National Rife Association (NRA), I will continue to work to preserve our Second Amendment rights.
Our nation's first responders, our firefighters and police officers, put their lives on the line everyday to keep us safe. First responders are our first line of defense in an emergency. They are the backbone of our communities. During the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centers and the attack of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, local police officers and fire fighters helped approximately 15,000 men, women, and children escape safely. I am committed to providing these brave patriots with the tools necessary to perform at their best - which ultimately means saving lives and minimizing danger.
Keeping America's Children Safe
President Bush signed the PROTECT Act in April 2004, which gives law enforcement additional tools to prevent, investigate, and prosecute violent crimes against children. I voted for this legislation when it overwhelmingly passed in the House. The bill strengthens child pornography laws and builds upon the steps already taken by the President to expand, enhance, and coordinate the successful AMBER Alert system across America. I believe there is a significant need for a system that immediately notifies locals and law enforcement when a child has been abducted. President Bush also signed legislation requiring states to conduct criminal background checks on prospective foster and adoptive parents.
On February 16, 2005, the House passed The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005.This important bill will restore some teeth to broadcast decency laws and begin to better protect America's children. The law states that indecent material is not appropriate for television. Unfortunately, over the last several years, some in the media have concluded that they are willing to pay fines for the privilege of airing the very material that they know millions of Americans will find offensive. The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act increases the amount the FCC may fine broadcasters from $32,500 to $500,000 per violation. It also increases the maximum fine against individual performers who willfully or knowingly violate decency standards during a broadcast from $11,000 to $500,000. This legislation is a good first step in enforcing decency standards for television and radio stations. It now awaits action in the Senate.
The Internet is a great resource for students and children, but it is intolerable that while a child is working on school projects they also receive unwanted inappropriate advances. I was pleased the Supreme Court, on June 23rd, 2003, upheld the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). This legislation, which became law in December 2000, requires that public libraries install filters to block pornographic sites on computers paid for with federal funds. This is a small victory in the ongoing war of restricting children's access to such sites.
Despite the dangers the Internet serves to children, it also serves a very useful purpose by providing unprecedented resources for learning, entertainment, business and commerce, and communication through electronic mail. Users of the Internet can do everything from taking virtual tours of museums and viewing art, to conducting all of their Christmas shopping. I will continue to do all that I can to ensure that our freedom of speech is protected, while providing common sense parental controls to keep innocent children away from pornographic web sites.