The House of Representatives today approved the E. Clay Shaw Jr. Missing Children's Assistance Reauthorization Act (H.R. 3092) with strong bipartisan support. Introduced by Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY), H.R. 3092 will fund the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children through Fiscal Year 2018 and strengthen programs under current law to prevent the abduction and sexual exploitation of children.
"Since its founding in 1984, the Center has helped recover more than 188,000 missing children across the United States. I'm honored to have led this bill to passage in the House and am encouraged that with this reauthorization the Center and other vital programs will continue to help these children in need." said Rep. Guthrie.
House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said, "Not only will H.R. 3092 ensure the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children can continue its work on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens, the legislation will also encourage greater coordination between law enforcement and states, districts, and schools in the race to recover missing children. I applaud Rep. Guthrie for spearheading the House effort to reauthorize the Missing Children's Assistance Act, and urge my Senate colleagues to pass this critical bill without delay."
"Nothing matters more than keeping our children out of harm's way, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is a fundamental part of our efforts to do just that," said Ranking Member George Miller (D-CA). "This reauthorization will provide the organization with the tools they need to continue their work to bring missing children home and make our neighborhoods and communities safer places for families. I thank Chairman Kline and Congressman Guthrie for working to move this important legislation in a bipartisan effort."
Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL) added, "As a lifelong educator and advocate for children, I am so delighted to see Democrats and Republicans come together to stand up for missing and exploited kids. The bill will enhance local, state, and federal coordination to protect our society's most vulnerable citizens."
As passed by the House, the E. Clay Shaw Jr. Missing Children's Assistance Reauthorization Act will:
Support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's current activities around providing technical assistance to law enforcement in coordinating with states and school districts to find and recover missing children; coordinate with state welfare agencies to find children missing from foster care; and identify and recover victims of (or those at risk for) child sex trafficking.
Include educational stakeholders and homeless service providers in the list of recipients of the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) education and prevention activities.
Require the national incidence studies on missing and exploited children be provided every three years (rather than periodically, as is currently written).
Strengthen OJJDP's oversight and accountability and codify current practice by limiting the use of federal funds for employee compensation.
Authorize funding for the Act at $40 million for each of the five fiscal years (FY 2014-FY2018), with up to $32 million of that being used to carry out the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's responsibilities.