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Public Statements

Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was enacted in 2006 to honor the victims of several violent crimes against children, including Adam Walsh, a 7-year-old boy who was abducted from a store where his mother was shopping in July 1981 and found murdered just 2 weeks later.

This important legislation is primarily known for its efforts to create a national sex offender registry.

The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or SORNA, created a more uniform system of sex offender registries throughout the country by providing minimum standards that each State must meet.

In addition to SORNA, the Adam Walsh Act made the U.S. Marshals Service responsible for the apprehension of both Federal and State fugitive sex offenders, as well as for the investigation of sex offender registry violations. The Marshals Service apprehended over 11,000 fugitive sex offenders in 2010 alone.

H.R. 3796, the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act of 2012, introduced by Crime Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner, reauthorizes the two key programs created by the Adam Walsh Act. It provides funding for the U.S. Marshals' sex offender apprehension activities and gives grants to States and other jurisdictions to implement the national sex offender registry requirements. These two programs are reauthorized for 5 years at amounts that reflect the fiscal year 2012 appropriation levels.

The original Adam Walsh Act contained over 20 different programs and was scored at approximately $1.5 billion over 5 years. By contrast, H.R. 3796 is targeted, fiscally responsible legislation that only reauthorizes the act's most primary programs at an estimated cost of less than $300 million over the same period.

I thank Mr. Sensenbrenner for his leadership on this bill, and I urge my colleagues to join me in support of H.R. 3796.

I reserve the balance of my time.


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