IMPROVING SUPPORT FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN ACT OF 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 89
(House of Representatives - May 23, 2017)

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    IMPROVING SUPPORT FOR MISSING AND EXPLOITED CHILDREN ACT OF 2017

  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 1808) to amend and improve the Missing Children's Assistance 
Act, and for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 1808

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Improving Support for 
     Missing and Exploited Children Act of 2017''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

       Section 402 of the Missing Children's Assistance Act (42 
     U.S.C. 5771) is amended--
       (1) by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:
       ``(1) each year tens of thousands of children run away, or 
     are abducted or removed, from the control of a parent having 
     legal custody without such parent's consent, under 
     circumstances which immediately place the child in grave 
     danger;'',
       (2) by striking paragraphs (4) and (5),
       (3) in paragraph (6) by inserting ``, including child sex 
     trafficking and sextortion'' after ``exploitation'',
       (4) in paragraph (8) by adding ``and'' at the end,
       (5) by striking paragraph (9),
       (6) by amending paragraph (10) to read as follows:
       ``(10) a key component of such programs is the National 
     Center for Missing and Exploited Children that--
       ``(A) serves as a nonprofit, national resource center and 
     clearinghouse to provide assistance to victims, families, 
     child-serving professionals, and the general public;
       ``(B) works with the Department of Justice, the Federal 
     Bureau of Investigation, the United States Marshals Service, 
     the Department of the Treasury, the Department of State, the 
     United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the United 
     States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection 
     Service, other agencies, and nongovernmental organizations in 
     the effort to find missing children and to prevent child 
     victimization; and
       ``(C) coordinates with each of the missing children 
     clearinghouses operated by the 50 States, the District of 
     Columbia, Puerto Rico, and international organizations to 
     transmit images and information regarding missing and 
     exploited children to law enforcement, nongovernmental 
     organizations, and corporate partners across the United 
     States and around the world instantly.'', and
       (7) by redesignating paragraphs (6), (7), (8), and (10) as 
     paragraphs (4), (5), (6), and (7), respectively.

     SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

       Section 403 of the Missing Children's Assistance Act (42 
     U.S.C. 5772) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1)--
       (A) by striking ``legal custodian'' each place it appears 
     and inserting ``parent'',
       (B) in subparagraph (A) by striking ``custodian's'' and 
     inserting ``parent's'', and
       (C) in subparagraph (C) by striking the period and the end 
     and inserting a semicolon,
       (2) in paragraph (2) by striking ``and'' at the end,
       (3) in paragraph (3) by striking the period at the end and 
     inserting ``; and'', and
       (4) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(4) the term `parent' includes a legal guardian or other 
     individual standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent 
     or stepparent with whom the child lives, or an individual who 
     is legally responsible for the child's welfare).''.

     SEC. 4. DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATOR.

       Section 404 of the Missing Children's Assistance Act (42 
     U.S.C. 5773) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a)--
       (A) in paragraph (3) by striking ``telephone line'' and 
     inserting ``hotline'', and
       (B) in paragraph (6)(E)--
       (i) by striking ``telephone line'' and inserting 
     ``hotline'',
       (ii) by striking ``(b)(1)(A) and'' and inserting 
     ``(b)(1)(A),'', and
       (iii) by inserting ``, and the number and types of reports 
     to the tipline established under subsection (b)(1)(K)(i)'' 
     before the semicolon at the end,
       (2) in subsection (b)(1)--
       (A) in subparagraph (A)--
       (i) by striking ``telephone line'' each place it appears 
     and inserting ``hotline'', and
       (ii) by striking ``legal custodian'' and inserting 
     ``parent'',
       (B) in subparagraph (C)--
       (i) in clause (i)--

       (I) by striking ``restaurant'' and inserting ``food'', and
       (II) by striking ``and'' at the end,

       (ii) in clause (ii) by adding ``and'' at the end, and
       (iii) by adding at the end the following:
       ``(iii) innovative and model programs, services, and 
     legislation that benefit missing and exploited children;'',
       (C) by striking subparagraphs (E), (F), and (G),
       (D) by amending subparagraph (H) to read as follows:
       ``(H) provide technical assistance and training to 
     families, law enforcement agencies, State and local 
     governments, elements of the criminal justice system, 
     nongovernmental agencies, local educational agencies, and the 
     general public--
       ``(i) in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and 
     treatment of cases involving missing and exploited children;
       ``(ii) to respond to foster children missing from the State 
     child welfare system in coordination with child welfare 
     agencies and courts handling juvenile justice and dependency 
     matters; and
       ``(iii) in the identification, location, and recovery of 
     victims of, and children at risk for, child sex 
     trafficking;'',
       (E) by amending subparagraphs (I), (J), and (K) to read as 
     follows:
       ``(I) provide assistance to families, law enforcement 
     agencies, State and local governments, nongovernmental 
     agencies, child-serving professionals, and other individuals 
     involved in the location and recovery of missing and abducted 
     children, both nationally, and in cooperation with the 
     Department of State, internationally;
       ``(J) provide support and technical assistance to child-
     serving professionals involved in helping to recover missing 
     and exploited children by

[[Page H4454]]

     searching public records databases to help in the 
     identification, location, and recovery of such children, and 
     help in the location and identification of potential 
     abductors and offenders;
       ``(K) provide forensic and direct on-site technical 
     assistance and consultation to families, law enforcement 
     agencies, child-serving professionals, and nongovernmental 
     organizations in child abduction and exploitation cases, 
     including facial reconstruction of skeletal remains and 
     similar techniques to assist in the identification of 
     unidentified deceased children;''.
       (F) by striking subparagraphs (L) and (M),
       (G) by amending subparagraph (N) to read as follows:
       ``(N) provide training, technical assistance, and 
     information to nongovernmental organizations relating to non-
     compliant sex offenders and to law enforcement agencies in 
     identifying and locating such individuals;'',
       (H) by striking subparagraph (P),
       (I) by amending subparagraph (Q) to read as follows:
       ``(Q) work with families, law enforcement agencies, 
     electronic service providers, electronic payment service 
     providers, technology companies, nongovernmental 
     organizations, and others on methods to reduce the existence 
     and distribution of online images and videos of sexually 
     exploited children--
       ``(i) by operating a tipline to provide to individuals and 
     electronic service providers an effective means of reporting 
     Internet-related and other instances of child sexual 
     exploitation in the areas of--

       ``(I) possession, manufacture, and distribution of child 
     pornography;
       ``(II) online enticement of children for sexual acts;
       ``(III) child sex trafficking;
       ``(IV) sex tourism involving children;
       ``(V) extra familial child sexual molestation;
       ``(VI) unsolicited obscene material sent to a child;
       ``(VII) misleading domain names; and
       ``(VIII) misleading words or digital images on the 
     Internet;

     and subsequently to make such reports available to the 
     appropriate law enforcement agency for its review and 
     potential investigation;
       ``(ii) by operating a child victim identification program 
     to assist law enforcement agencies in identifying victims of 
     child pornography and other sexual crimes to support the 
     recovery of children from sexually exploitative situations; 
     and
       ``(iii) by utilizing emerging technologies to provide 
     additional outreach and educational materials to parents and 
     families;'',
       (J) by striking subparagraph (R),
       (K) by amending subparagraphs (S) and (T) to read as 
     follows:
       ``(S) develop and disseminate programs and information to 
     families, child-serving professionals, law enforcement 
     agencies, State and local governments, nongovernmental 
     organizations, schools, local educational agencies, child-
     serving organizations, and the general public on--
       ``(i) the prevention of child abduction and sexual 
     exploitation;
       ``(ii) Internet safety, including tips for social media and 
     cyberbullying; and
       ``(iii) sexting and sextortion; and
       ``(T) provide technical assistance and training to local 
     educational agencies, schools, State and local law 
     enforcement agencies, individuals, and other nongovernmental 
     organizations that assist with finding missing and abducted 
     children in identifying and recovering such children.'', and
       (L) by redesignating subparagraphs (H), (I), (J), (K), (N), 
     (O), (Q), (S), (T), (U), and (V) as subparagraphs (E) through 
     (O), respectively.

     SEC. 5. GRANTS.

       Section 405 of the Missing Children's Assistance Act (42 
     U.S.C. 5775) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a)--
       (A) in paragraph (7) by striking ``(as defined in section 
     403(1)(A))'', and
       (B) in paragraph (8)--
       (i) by striking ``legal custodians'' and inserting 
     ``parents'', and
       (ii) by striking ``custodians' '' and inserting ``parents' 
     '', and
       (2) in subsection (b)(1)(A) by striking ``legal 
     custodians'' and inserting ``parents''.

     SEC. 6. REPORTING.

       The Missing Children's Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5771 et 
     seq.) is amended--
       (1) by redesignating sections 407 and 408 as section 408 
     and 409, respectively, and
       (2) by inserting after section 406 the following:

     ``SEC. 407. REPORTING.

       ``(a) Required Reporting.--As a condition of receiving 
     funds under section 404(b), the grant recipient shall, based 
     solely on reports received by the grantee and not involving 
     any data collection by the grantee other than those reports, 
     annually provide to the Administrator and make available to 
     the general public, as appropriate--
       ``(1) the number of children nationwide who are reported to 
     the grantee as missing;
       ``(2) the number of children nationwide who are reported to 
     the grantee as victims of non-family abductions;
       ``(3) the number of children nationwide who are reported to 
     the grantee as victims of family abductions; and
       ``(4) the number of missing children recovered nationwide 
     whose recovery was reported to the grantee.
       ``(b) Incidence of Attempted Child Abductions.--As a 
     condition of receiving funds under section 404(b), the grant 
     recipient shall--
       ``(1) track the incidence of attempted child abductions in 
     order to identify links and patterns;
       ``(2) provide such information to law enforcement agencies; 
     and
       ``(3) make such information available to the general 
     public, as appropriate.''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Kentucky (Mr. Guthrie) and the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. 
Courtney) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.


                             General Leave

  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on H.R. 1808.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Kentucky?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1808, the Improving Support 
for Missing and Exploited Children Act of 2017.
  Mr. Speaker, as a father, I cannot imagine the horror moms and dads 
in this country experience when they discover one of their children has 
been taken, abused, or exploited. Sadly, that is a nightmare for 
hundreds of thousands of parents in this country. Last year alone, 
there were more than 465,000 reports of missing children, and those are 
just the cases that were reported.
  The well-being of America's children has long been a national 
priority. In 1984, Congress established the Missing and Exploited 
Children's Program to help coordinate State and local efforts to 
recover children who are missing and better protect and support kids 
who are victims of abuse and exploitation. As part of that program, we 
provide a grant that is used to support the work of the National Center 
for Missing & Exploited Children, known as NCMEC.
  For more than 30 years, NCMEC has worked to provide help to people 
across the country, partnering with parents, law enforcement, 
nonprofits, and other public and private entities in an effort to 
recover, protect, and support missing and exploited children and their 
families. We are here today to ensure this supportive work continues.
  H.R. 1808 updates and streamlines the Missing Children's Assistance 
Act, making positive changes that will enable us to strengthen our 
efforts. This includes reforms that encourage and increase public 
awareness of new and innovative ways to recover and protect missing and 
exploited children.
  The bill better protects the growing number of children who go 
missing from State care or are victims of sex trafficking, while also 
providing transparency surrounding recovery and prevention efforts. In 
recent years, some of the advances in technology have, unfortunately, 
made it easier for kids to be victimized and exploited. H.R. 1808 
ensures the law aimed at recovering and protecting exploited children 
is able to effectively identify and locate today's abductors and 
criminal offenders, many of whom are turning to more modern techniques 
to commit their disturbing crimes.
  The Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act of 2017 
delivers important reforms that will provide the tools needed to 
effectively serve vulnerable youth, help bring perpetrators to justice, 
and ensure taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly. I urge my colleagues 
to support H.R. 1808.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I rise in strong support of H.R. 1808 to amend and improve the 
Missing Children's Assistance Act.
  Mr. Speaker, again, it is an honor to stand with my friend, Mr. 
Guthrie, in bipartisan support of this legislation which, again, makes 
some important changes to the existing law for the Center for Missing & 
Exploited Children, as my friend said, a program which was created in 
1984. Sadly, it has not finished its mission.
  Again, the FBI reports every year there are about 460,000 reports of 
missing children, and despite the best efforts of programs which NCMEC 
has operated over the many years, which include hotlines and public 
information campaigns, again, this is still a scourge which afflicts 
many families all across the country in Republican, Democratic, rural, 
suburban, and urban areas.
  Again, this bill will basically update and modernize the language of 
the act

[[Page H4455]]

to recognize that there are new forms of threats and risks to minor 
children, such as human trafficking and online predators.

                              {time}  1415

  So it does three essential things:
  Number one, it incorporates new terminology to align the law with 
these new threats, which I mentioned above, and strengthens protections 
for children at risk.
  Number two, it clarifies that NCMEC is a nonprofit entity, which is 
an issue that has been ensnared in the courts. And, again, Congress' 
passage and enactment of this bill will clarify this critical issue.
  And, lastly, it clarifies that NCMEC is a resource that provides 
technical assistance not just to law enforcement, but to families, 
community groups, schools, and the public at large.
  Mr. Speaker, this last aspect of the bill is critically important. 
Last year, Congress passed Public Law 114-184, which President Obama 
signed into law, the Recovering Missing Children's Act. It was a 
measure which I cosponsored with Mr. Paulsen from Minnesota.
  This bill actually gave State and local police another tool in terms 
of recovering missing children. Incredibly, the Tax Code prevented 
State and local law enforcement from getting access to tax returns from 
adults who actually had abducted children.
  So, incredibly, those adults were claiming these children, who were 
in their illegal custody, as a tax credit and a tax exemption, but 
State and local officials were barred by privacy provisions in the IRS 
code from actually accessing that information. So, on the one hand, you 
had one arm of government out looking for children and you had another 
arm of government who knew exactly where they were based on the tax 
returns which were filed.
  Again, NCMEC is in the process of trying to disseminate this new 
tool, which an audit of the IRS demonstrated that there are roughly 
2,000 tax returns a year where adult individuals are actually claiming 
children as a tax deduction, obviously, with their residence and 
identity included.
  So, again, that is just another example of why we need to update and 
modernize the law.
  I would just indicate on a personal level, my wife, Audrey, is a 
pediatric nurse practitioner. She works at the Children's Medical 
Center in Hartford, Connecticut. She is involved in a specialty clinic 
that helps children of sex abuse and human trafficking. She said that 
NCMEC is a frequent flier in their office. In the really important work 
that she and her colleagues do, they constantly use NCMEC as a way of 
trying to assist law enforcement in terms of helping children who are 
in these situations of human trafficking and who have been victims of 
online use of images, which is about as low a depraved activity that is 
out there right now. So, again, the work of this center, I can attest 
to from a personal level, is extremely important.
  This legislation will update, modernize, and give tools to make sure 
that all of the good guys out there--the local State police and the 
folks in the healthcare sector--can really do everything they can to 
help families in this really terrible, horrific situation.
  So, again, I applaud my colleague from Kentucky for his great work, 
as well as Chairwoman Foxx and Ranking Member Scott for bringing this 
legislation forward. It passed unanimously in committee.
  Mr. Speaker, I strongly urge all of my colleagues in the House to 
support this bill, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I echo my support, and I enjoy working with 
my friend, the gentleman from Connecticut (Mr. Courtney).
  Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. 
Walberg), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, 
Labor, and Pensions.
  Mr. WALBERG. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for the opportunity 
to speak on this issue.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1808, the Improving Support 
for Missing and Exploited Children Act of 2017.
  For more than 30 years, the National Center for Missing & Exploited 
Children, or NCMEC, has operated a unique public-private partnership in 
order to build a national response to crimes affecting those we cherish 
most: our children.
  I am grateful that the bill maintains language that I supported, 
which grants NCMEC the authority to provide technical assistance to law 
enforcement agencies and first responders in identifying and recovering 
victims of child sex trafficking.
  During the committee's hearing in March, we heard from NCMEC's 
director on how their ability to provide technical assistance has 
allowed them to work in tandem with law enforcement to recover numerous 
child sex trafficking victims.
  Mr. Speaker, we all look forward to the day when no children are ever 
taken and abused, and this bill helps ensure NCMEC has the tools to get 
us one step closer to that goal.
  I appreciate the bipartisan effort on this, and I urge all my 
colleagues to support this important legislation.
  Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton), a city which has been really 
challenged with this issue. I know she has been doing great work and 
has very powerful thoughts and arguments to make today regarding this 
legislation.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Speaker, I thank my good friend for yielding me this 
time, and I am pleased to support this bipartisan bill, the Improving 
Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act.
  I support it because it does exactly what its title says. It fills 
the gaps in our prior legislation on missing and exploited children. We 
need to look at such legislation very often because of what we are 
learning about missing and exploited children.
  There are many parts of this bill I support, but I particularly 
support a provision that we didn't have nearly as much knowledge of 
during the passage of the last bill: to improve the protection of 
children in State care. These are often foster children or children 
without parents. These are the children who may be most susceptible to 
trafficking and other exploitation.
  I certainly would appreciate the efforts of the committee in making 
sure that provisions of my bill that, I believe, got to you too late, 
are included in the final House and Senate bill because they are 
entirely consistent with the bill on the floor today. They come from 
recent experience of the District of Columbia.
  The D.C. police began to do something, which I urge all of you to do, 
and that is to use social media to let people know when there are 
missing children. It unnerved residents of the District of Columbia 
until they recognized that the city didn't have any more missing 
children than any other jurisdiction. Still, I support what the 
District did in using social media. Still, we simply don't know enough.
  My provisions would have the government collect subsets of data that 
it does not collect today. For example, we found in the District that 
there were more missing girls of color than boys. We ought to have 
known that from national statistics. You don't know it because there 
are no national statistics on the subsets of children.
  My bill would collect and publish demographic characteristics that 
simply are not published today on race, gender, sexual orientation, and 
gender identity. If you think of those categories, you will understand 
why these may be the children in particular need of protection.
  In addition, there is no current comprehensive count of missing 
children in the United States. So, we need more work on this bill. We 
need to break down to these subsets so that jurisdictions, like my own, 
will know where to focus when we are focusing on missing children.
  Again, I am pleased that the District turned out not to have any more 
missing children than the average jurisdiction, but I am also pleased 
that it got a rise out of people who never would have paid attention to 
this issue until the police department decided to go on social media.
  We want to make sure that we cover all of our children and that we do 
what this bill does.
  What are the gaps? Where do we need to fill in?
  Mr. Speaker, this is the first bill on missing children in a number 
of years. We must make sure no children are left behind.

[[Page H4456]]

  

  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Tennessee (Mr. Roe), the chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, 
and a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee.
  Mr. ROE of Tennessee. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 
1808, the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act, 
which improves the Missing Children's Assistance Act.
  Mr. Speaker, this Thursday is National Missing Children's Day. I 
can't imagine the pain and suffering that occurs when a child goes 
missing. I am a proud cosponsor of this legislation, and I am proud of 
the Committee on Education and the Workforce for its work on this 
important issue.
  This legislation strengthens existing efforts to help recover missing 
children and prevents more children from being victims of abuse and 
exploitation.
  This bill also includes a provision to incorporate developing 
technologies related to the reporting of child exploitation. This 
provision was a result of an idea shared by a constituent of mine, 
Michael Reed. His wife was a victim of abuse as a child, and he has 
devoted his life to making sure other children have a voice and the 
ability to report the abuse that they are experiencing. I am committed 
to ensuring that Congress is working to protect these children.
  Mr. Speaker, I thank both sides of the aisle on the Education and the 
Workforce Committee, and I encourage all of my colleagues to support 
this bill.
  Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Scott), the ranking member of the 
Education and the Workforce Committee, and a strong proponent of this 
legislation.
  Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for 
yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 1808, the Improving Support 
for Missing and Exploited Children Act. This bill will strengthen 
recovery and prevention efforts of missing and exploited children by 
renewing and updating support for the National Center for Missing & 
Exploited Children, or NCMEC.
  The terror experienced by parents of a missing child is unfathomable. 
Both the child and the parents experience pain, trauma, fear, and 
uncertainty. This is why affected families need the full support of law 
enforcement, schools, businesses, and other entities that may be able 
to assist in locating and recovering missing or exploited children.
  In 2013, Congress reauthorized the Missing Children's Assistance Act 
and updated the role of NCMEC. The organization was required, at that 
time, to coordinate with the Interagency Council on Homelessness in 
order to address the high number of sex trafficking victims who were 
homeless youth.
  Now, in 2017, Congress is including several additional improvements. 
As this bill heads to the Senate, I will work with my colleagues in 
both Chambers to improve the reporting of characteristics of children 
trafficked as it relates to the Office of Juvenile Justice's triennial 
incidence of missing children study.
  Mr. Speaker, despite the best efforts of NCMEC, more than 10,000 
children go missing each year, and scores of children are forced into 
sexual exploitation and trafficking. I am hopeful that the enactment of 
these initiatives will assist in the efforts to end exploitation and 
trafficking. I am also hopeful that Congress will empower the work of 
NCMEC by appropriate funding in fiscal year 2018 and above.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support the bill.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Michigan (Mr. Mitchell), my friend and a member of the Education and 
the Workforce Committee.
  Mr. MITCHELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the Improving 
Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act.
  My wife and I have six children. Our youngest is just 7 years old. We 
would do anything to protect them. I can't even imagine the pain of 
having a child go missing, or to learn that they have been hurt or 
abused in any manner.
  Tragically, this is a reality for far too many children and too many 
families in America. Last year, there were more than 465,000 reports of 
missing children in the United States. To put that number in 
perspective, about 700,000 people live in Michigan's 10th Congressional 
District, my home.
  Even one child going missing or being abused is too many. We must 
recognize the seriousness of this problem and we must do everything we 
can to protect our children.
  This important bill will assist NCMEC in locating missing children 
and in identifying abductors. It will help prevent children from 
becoming the victims of exploitation online and increase awareness 
about how to recover missing children.
  Mr. Speaker, today we come together to support America's children. I 
am proud to be a sponsor of this legislation, and I urge my colleagues 
to support it.
  Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
North Carolina (Ms. Adams), an outstanding member of the Education and 
the Workforce Committee.
  Ms. ADAMS. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for yielding.
  I proudly stand today in support of H.R. 1808, the Improving Support 
for Missing and Exploited Children Act.
  This bipartisan legislation reflects both Democrats' and Republicans' 
desire to protect and care for our greatest resource: our children.
  In my home State of North Carolina, the trafficking of young women 
has become an epidemic. There were 181 human trafficking cases reported 
in North Carolina in 2016, and Charlotte was home to more of them than 
anywhere else.

                              {time}  1430

  That figure gave us the dishonor of being ranked among the top 10 
States in the Nation in the number of trafficking reports, and that 
doesn't even account for those children who have not yet been 
identified as victims of this shameful practice.
  In North Carolina, lawmakers have sponsored efforts to establish 
pilot programs to help victims and train law enforcement to recognize 
the signs of trafficking. It is time Congress does its part and passes 
H.R. 1808 to support States in their efforts.
  This bill would improve efforts by both law enforcement and the 
general public to combat trafficking, and it would enhance the 
identification and location of missing children and their abductors.
  It would protect children from being victims to online predators and 
keep a promise that was made 33 years ago, when Congress first passed 
the Missing Children's Assistance Act and we vowed to assist the 
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in protecting and 
recovering our missing and vulnerable youth.
  I am a parent, I am a grandparent, Mr. Speaker, and I am a concerned 
member of my community; and my district and my State have been torn 
apart by human trafficking.
  This is an opportunity for us to come together as Americans and 
support an initiative that could save lives. I urge my colleagues to 
pass H.R. 1808 and prove that we can all put politics aside when it 
comes to protecting our children.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
North Carolina (Ms. Foxx), the distinguished chairwoman of the 
Education and the Workforce Committee.
  Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague, Mr. Guthrie, for his 
great work on handling this bill today and on the bill itself.
  No child should live in fear, Mr. Speaker, and yet every year 
hundreds of thousands of children across the country are abducted, 
abused, or exploited. The safety of America's children has long been a 
national priority. That is why I stand here today in strong support of 
H.R. 1808, the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children 
Act.
  In 1984, Congress passed the Missing Children's Assistance Act and 
established a grant to enhance our country's efforts to find missing 
children and prevent child exploitation. For more than 30 years, the 
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, also known as NCMEC, 
has used the grant to coordinate a national response to crises and 
crimes affecting America's most vulnerable children.
  Through unique public-private partnerships, NCMEC works with 
families,

[[Page H4457]]

law enforcement, schools, community leaders, and nonprofits in its 
efforts to find children who are missing and protect youth who are 
victims of sexual exploitation.
  The reforms in the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited 
Children Act will ensure the vital work of recovering and supporting 
vulnerable youth is able to continue, reuniting more families with 
their loved ones and helping victims receive the support they 
desperately need. This is a bill that delivers the reforms needed to 
save lives.
  I am also proud to say it is a bill with strong bipartisan support. 
At the opening of NCMEC, former President Ronald Reagan said:
  ``No single sector of our Nation can solve the problem of missing and 
exploited children alone. But by working together, pooling our 
resources, and building on our strengths, we can accomplish great 
things.''
  ``Together we can turn the tide on these hateful crimes. . . .''
  Together we can turn the tide. The work our colleagues, 
Representatives Guthrie and Courtney, have done to get this important 
bill to the House floor demonstrates the type of collaboration 
President Reagan spoke of on that day at the opening of the NCMEC. And 
the Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act isn't the 
only bill we have been able to reach across the aisle on and deliver 
reforms that will help vulnerable youth.
  Working together, we are also advancing positive bipartisan solutions 
in H.R. 1809, the Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017. This bill aims 
at assisting a different kind of vulnerable youth, ensuring kids who 
find themselves in the juvenile justice system have an opportunity to 
turn their lives around and achieve success.
  Every child deserves an opportunity to make a change for the better, 
if that child has made a mistake. By working together to develop the 
Juvenile Justice Reform Act of 2017, my colleagues, Representatives 
Lewis and Scott, have put forward a bill that will help ensure at-risk 
youth are afforded an opportunity to do just that.
  Both of these bills renew the commitment we have made to help and 
protect our Nation's most vulnerable children. All of these reforms 
will make a real difference in the lives of countless children, young 
adults, parents, and families across the country. I am proud of the 
bipartisan work we have been able to accomplish.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. I yield the gentlewoman an additional 30 seconds.
  Ms. FOXX. I want to thank Representative Scott, as well as 
Representatives Lewis, Guthrie, and Courtney for their leadership on 
these issues. I urge our fellow colleagues to support the Improving 
Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act.
  Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the 
gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Paulsen), a good friend of mine who, in 
his work on the Ways and Means Committee, has been focused on and 
dedicated to this issue.
  Mr. PAULSEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for his work on this 
on a bipartisan basis with Mr. Courtney.

  I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1808, the Improving Support 
for Missing and Exploited Children Act. This important initiative, it 
builds on the bipartisan work we have already accomplished to combat 
sex trafficking and child exploitation.
  Since its creation in 1984, the National Center for Missing & 
Exploited Children has worked tirelessly to protect children from being 
exploited, to reunite missing children with their families, and to 
provide resources and training to our law enforcement community to help 
assist in this effort.
  This legislation today will assist the Center in strengthening its 
prevention and its recovery programs. One of those programs is the 
CyberTipline which, since being launched in 1998, has received 12.7 
million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation. It is programs 
like this, Mr. Speaker, that go a long way to helping us save lives and 
put an end to sexual exploitation and trafficking of children.
  I encourage all of my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill.
  Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  In summary, we have heard again a very broad-based bipartisan chorus 
of voices in support of this legislation. Again, like in committee, 
hopefully, all of us will stand together to support this really 
important update to making sure that families get all the help, and law 
enforcement get all the help, that they need to eliminate the scourge 
of this problem.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GUTHRIE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  I had the opportunity to visit the Center, and the building that I 
got to go visit was full of men and women who show up every day, who do 
exceptional work dealing with the disturbing issues, and so my hat is 
off to them. They deal with stuff that is just unimaginable to most of 
us, and they do it in a way that is dignified and in a way that is well 
worthy of the effort that we are giving them to give more transparency 
and empower them to help more.
  I really appreciate working with my friend, Mr. Courtney. H.R. 1808 
is a bipartisan proposal, and I urge my colleagues to support the 
Improving Support for Missing and Exploited Children Act of 2017.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Guthrie) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 1808, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

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