Ms. LORETTA SANCHEZ of California. I rise today in opposition to the amendment made under this rule to gut the Senate-passed Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013. The Senate bill is a bipartisan approach that protects vulnerable populations, and the amendment made under this rule would remove those protections. Furthermore, S. 47 includes legislation that I have worked on in these two past Congresses with Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, who I call my good friend, and Senator Klobuchar of Minnesota. I reintroduced the STALKERS Act this Congress and am pleased that it is included in the underlying bill.
No one can deny that the Internet is a great tool for all of us that connects billions of people around the world. But one of the problems with it is that it's proven to be an effective weapon for stalkers to prey on innocent people. Current Federal stalking statutes simply have not caught up with the new tools and the emerging technologies that these criminals use. The STALKERS Act would bring our laws into the 21st century by giving law enforcement the tools they need to combat stalking in the digital age.
The STALKERS Act would protect victims and empower prosecutors by increasing the scope of existing laws to cover acts of electronic monitoring, including spyware, bugging, video surveillance, and other new technologies as they develop. Currently, Federal laws cannot be enforced unless stalking victims can demonstrate that they are in reasonable fear of physical injury.
Again, I thank you for including the STALKERS Act in the underlying bill.