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Public Statements

Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2012 (H.R. 3796). I would like to recognize Representative Sensenbrenner for a career spent protecting our nation's children, including this bill before the House today.

Six years ago I stood with my then 15-year old son and 13-year old daughter in the Rose Garden at the White House when President George W. Bush signed into law the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.

Title V of the Adam Walsh legislation contains my bill, the Child Pornography Prevention Act. My bill set forth new findings to protect children against so-called ``home pornographers'' to better enable federal prosecutors to proceed with cases against them. It also provided increased protection to victims of child pornography and strengthened the hand of law enforcement in investigating and bringing charges in obscenity and child pornography cases. Finally, it closed a loophole that allowed pornographers to exploit children by using them in productions with simulated sexual activity or lascivious sexually explicit content and then claim that they believed the children to be over age eighteen.

The Adam Walsh legislation had many other good initiatives that have protected our nation's children by improving sex offender registration and providing local law enforcement officials with tools needed to track those who prey upon children. Some of these provisions require reauthorization, and I am pleased today that we are moving forward with this reauthorization, especially of the two key programs that fund the U.S. Marshall's fugitive apprehension program and the grants that help states comply with the national sex offender registry requirements, in a fiscally responsible manner.

I consider myself fortunate to have been able to contribute to the Adam Walsh bill, as well as the 2003 Child Abduction Prevention Act (later renamed the PROTECT Act), which setup the Amber Alert system. That legislation also included the Truth in Domain Names Act that I authored. The Truth in Domain Names Act made it a criminal act to knowingly use a misleading domain name with the intent to deceive a child into viewing harmful material on the Internet, and it has made a difference in protecting children from Internet pornography.

Congress over the years has faced many very difficult issues, but we always have kept the best interest of children at the forefront of our work. As we move to reauthorize these important programs in the Adam Walsh bill today, I want to thank my colleagues for coming together to put our children first.

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