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E. Clay Shaw Missing Children's Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 3092, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.

As a father of three children, I can't imagine the horror if one of my children were missing or were in harm's way. Just like any other parent, the thought is unthinkable and is one that I am thankful to have never experienced.

My first exposure to the issues facing at-risk populations, such as those served by programs authorized by the underlying law, was as a cadet at West Point, which is just north of New York City. There was a shelter in New York City for runaway children. It was heartbreaking to hear the stories of these children, many of whom were abused or neglected and had no homes to return to. Oftentimes children who have run away from their homes are the most in danger of being killed or exploited. Approximately 80 percent of children reported missing are, in fact, categorized as ``endangered runaways.'' These vulnerable kids deserve help.

My bill, H.R. 3092, will reauthorize the Missing Children's Assistance Act
at current funding levels. Reauthorizing this critical law will ensure that the coordination of State and local law enforcement efforts to identify, locate, and recover missing, abducted, and sexually exploited children continues. We cannot afford to wait.

The world around us, while often kind and beautiful, can also be cruel and ugly; but it is through the work of groups like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that resources are available to assist those in dire need. Chances are that you've seen a hotline come across your TV screen that is looking to collect information about a missing child but you've never thought about the infrastructure behind these efforts. This legislation seeks to reauthorize these critical programs and ensure no gap in access for the children, families, and communities in need.

Since its founding in 1984, the center, while partnered with local law enforcement, has helped recover more than 188,000 missing children across the United States. April 9, 2014, marks the 30th anniversary of the Justice Department's awarding the first national clearinghouse grant to the center. Just 2 months after its creation, in June of 1984, President Reagan celebrated the official opening of the center at a White House ceremony, praising this model of public-private partnership, which has fulfilled his vision for three decades.

I applaud the efforts of Chairman Kline, Representative Walberg, and my fellow committee members for understanding the importance of this legislation and in helping to move it forward. I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 3092 so we can continue to support these vital programs.

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Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, as my friend from Florida said, we were able
to work together--House and Senate, Republicans and Democrats--for a very important issue. And I want to thank my colleagues who were here speaking to the importance of H.R. 3092, the E. Clay Shaw, Jr. Missing Children's Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2013.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 188,389 missing children since it was founded in 1984. As of June 2013, the center's toll-free, 24-hour call center received more than 3.8 million calls. Reauthorizing this law will ensure that the critical coordination of State and local enforcement efforts by the center on behalf of missing, abducted, and sexually exploited children continues.

I'm honored to take the lead on this important legislation and urge my colleagues to support this bill so we can continue these vital programs.

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