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107th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     107-525

======================================================================



 
            SEX TOURISM PROHIBITION IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2002

                                _______
                                

 June 24, 2002.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Sensenbrenner, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 4477]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 4477) to amend title 18, United States Code, with 
respect to crimes involving the transportation of persons and 
sex tourism, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommends that the bill as 
amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     2
Hearings.........................................................     3
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Vote of the Committee............................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     4
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     4
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     4
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     4
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     5
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion.......................     5
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     6
Markup Transcript................................................     7
Dissenting Views.................................................    17
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Sex Tourism Prohibition Improvement 
Act of 2002''.

SEC. 2. SECTION 2423 AMENDMENTS.

    (a) In General.--Section 2423 of title 18, United States Code, is 
amended by striking subsection (b) and inserting the following:
    ``(b) Travel With Intent To Engage in Illicit Sexual Conduct.--A 
person who travels in interstate commerce or travels into the United 
States, or a United States citizen or an alien admitted for permanent 
residence in the United States who travels in foreign commerce, for the 
purpose of engaging in any illicit sexual conduct with another person 
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 15 years, 
or both.
    ``(c) Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct in Foreign Places.--Any 
United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent residence who 
travels in foreign commerce, and engages in any illicit sexual conduct 
with another person shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not 
more than 15 years, or both.
    ``(d) Ancillary Offenses.--Whoever arranges, induces, procures, or 
facilitates the travel of a person knowing that such a person is 
traveling in interstate commerce or foreign commerce for the purpose of 
engaging in illicit sexual conduct shall be fined under this title, 
imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.
    ``(e) Attempt and Conspiracy.--Whoever attempts or conspires to 
violate subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall be punishable in the 
same manner as a completed violation of that subsection.
    ``(f) Definition.--As used in this section, the term `illicit 
sexual conduct' means (1) a sexual act (as defined in section 2246) 
with a person that would be in violation of chapter 109A if the sexual 
act occurred in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of 
the United States; or (2) any commercial sex act (as defined in section 
1591) with a person who the individual engaging in the commercial sex 
act, knows or should have known has not attained the age of 18 
years.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 2423(a) of title 18, United 
States Code, is amended by striking ``or attempts to do so,''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 4477, the ``Sex Tourism Prohibition Improvement Act of 
2002,'' addresses a number of problems related to persons who 
travel to foreign countries and engage in illicit sexual 
relations with minors. Current law requires the Government to 
prove that the defendant traveled ``for the purpose'' of 
engaging in the illegal activity. Under this bill the 
Government would only have to prove that the defendant engaged 
in illicit sexual conduct with a minor while in a foreign 
country. This legislation also criminalizes the actions of sex 
tour operators by prohibiting persons from arranging, inducing, 
procuring, or facilitating the travel of a person knowing that 
such a person is traveling in interstate or foreign commerce 
for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    Many developing countries have fallen prey to the serious 
problem of international sex tourism. According to the National 
Center for Missing and Exploited Children, child-sex tourism is 
a major component of the worldwide sexual exploitation of 
children and is increasing. There are more than 100 web sites 
devoted to promoting teenage commercial sex in Asia alone. 
Because poor countries are often under economic pressure to 
develop tourism, those governments often turn a blind eye 
toward this devastating problem because of the income it 
produces. Children around the world have become trapped and 
exploited by the sex tourism industry.
    There would be no need for a sex tourism statute if foreign 
countries successfully prosecuted U.S. citizens or resident 
aliens for the child sex crimes committed within their borders. 
However, for reasons ranging from ineffective law enforcement, 
lack of resources, corruption, and generally immature legal 
systems, sex tourists often escape prosecution in the host 
countries. It is in those instances that the United States has 
an interest in pursuing criminal charges in the United States.
    The Justice Department, Federal law enforcement agencies, 
the State Department and other U.S. entities expend significant 
resources assisting foreign countries most afflicted with sex 
tourism to improve their domestic response to such criminal 
offenses. Our assistance encompasses informal as well as formal 
training of foreign law enforcement officers and prosecutors in 
the investigation and prosecution of sex tourism crimes. By and 
large these countries reach out to the United States for help 
and some even blame the United States for the problem, arguing 
that many of the sex tourists are American. Some of the foreign 
or ``host'' countries experiencing significant problems with 
sex tourism, such as Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Thailand and the 
Philippines, have requested that the United States act to deal 
with this growing problem.
    Current law requires the Government to prove that the 
defendant traveled to a foreign country with the intent to 
engage in sex with a minor. H.R. 4477 eliminates the intent 
requirement where the defendant completes the travel and 
actually engages in the illicit sexual activity with a minor. 
The bill also criminalizes the actions of sex tour operators by 
prohibiting persons from arranging, inducing, procuring, or 
facilitating the travel of a person knowing that such a person 
is traveling in interstate or foreign commerce for the purpose 
of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. This 
legislation will close significant loopholes in the law that 
persons who travel to foreign countries seeking sex with 
children are currently using to their advantage in order to 
avoid prosecution.

                                Hearings

    The Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and 
Homeland Security held 2 days of hearings on H.R. 4477 and 
other bills relating to similar issues. Testimony was received 
on May 1, 2002, from three (3) witnesses: (1) Michael J. 
Heimbach, Unit Chief, Crimes Against Children Unit, Federal 
Bureau of Investigation; (2) Ernie Allen, President and Chief 
Executive Officer for the National Center for Missing & 
Exploited Children; and (3) Lt. Bill Walsh, with the Dallas 
Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. On May 9, 2002, the 
Subcommittee received testimony from: Daniel Collins, Associate 
Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, U.S. 
Department of Justice.

                        Committee Consideration

    On May 9, 2002, the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and 
Homeland Security met in open session and ordered favorably 
reported the bill H.R. 4477, by voice vote, a quorum being 
present. On June 19, 2002, the Committee met in open session 
and ordered favorably reported the bill H.R. 4477 with 
amendment by voice vote, a quorum being present.

                         Vote of the Committee

    There were no recorded votes on H.R. 4477.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee reports that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    H.R. 4477 does not authorize funding. Therefore, clause 
3(c) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives 
is inapplicable.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of House rule XIII is inapplicable because 
this legislation does not provide new budgetary authority or 
increased tax expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 4477, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 18, 2002.
Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr., Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4477, the Sex 
Tourism Prohibition Improvement Act of 2002.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                  Dan L. Crippen, Director.

Enclosure

cc:
        Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
        Ranking Member
H.R. 4477--Sex Tourism Prohibition Improvement Act of 2002.
    H.R. 4477 would establish new Federal crimes relating to 
interstate or international travelers (or persons facilitating 
such travel) who engage in illegal sexual activity. CBO 
estimates that implementing the bill would not result in any 
significant cost to the Federal Government. Because enactment 
of H.R. 4477 could affect direct spending and receipts, pay-as-
you-go procedures would apply to the bill; however, CBO 
estimates that any impact on direct spending and receipts would 
not be significant.
    S. 166 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no direct costs on State, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Because H.R. 4477 would establish new Federal crimes, the 
Government would be able to pursue cases that it otherwise 
would not be able to prosecute. CBO estimates that any increase 
in costs for law enforcement, court proceedings, or prison 
operations would not be significant because of the small number 
of additional cases likely to be affected. Any such costs would 
be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
    Because those prosecuted and convicted under H.R. 4477 
could be subject to criminal fines, the Federal Government 
might collect additional fines if the legislation is enacted. 
Collections of such fines are recorded in the budget as 
governmental receipts (revenues), which are deposited in the 
Crime Victims Fund and later spent. CBO expects that any 
additional receipts and direct spending would be negligible 
because of the small number of cases affected.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz, 
who can be reached at 226-2860. This estimate was approved by 
Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget 
Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in article I, section 8 of the Constitution.

               Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion

                         SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE

    The short title of the bill is the ``Sex Tourism 
Prohibition Improvement Act of 2002.''

                   SECTION 2. SECTION 2423 AMENDMENTS

    Section 2 of the bill amends 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2423 to make it 
a crime for a U.S. citizen to travel to another country and 
engage in illicit sexual conduct with minors. Current law 
requires the Government to prove that the defendant traveled 
with the intent to engage in the illegal activity. Under this 
provision the Government would only have to prove that the 
defendant engaged in illicit sexual conduct with a minor while 
they were in a foreign country.
    The legislation also amends current law to make it a crime 
for foreigners to travel into the U.S. for the purpose of 
engaging in illicit sexual relations with minors. Currently, if 
a foreigner travels into the United States for that purpose but 
does not travel interstate, there is a question as to whether 
or not his conduct is covered by the existing statute.
    This section also criminalizes the actions of sex tour 
operators by prohibiting persons from arranging, inducing, 
procuring, or facilitating the travel of a person knowing that 
such a person is traveling in interstate commerce or foreign 
commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct. 
``Illicit sexual conduct'' is defined as (1) a sexual act (as 
defined in 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2246) with a person that would be in 
violation of chapter 109A of title 18 if the sexual act 
occurred in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction 
of the United States or (2) any commercial sex act (as defined 
in 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1591) with a person who the individual 
engaging in the commercial sex act, knows or should have known 
has not attained the age of 18 years. Any violation of these 
provisions will subject a person to a sentence of a fine, 
imprisonment of up to 15 years, or both.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

              SECTION 2423 OF TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE

Sec. 2423. Transportation of minors

    (a) Transportation With Intent To Engage in Criminal Sexual 
Activity.--A person who knowingly transports an individual who 
has not attained the age of 18 years in interstate or foreign 
commerce, or in any commonwealth, territory or possession of 
the United States, with intent that the individual engage in 
prostitution, or in any sexual activity for which any person 
can be charged with a criminal offense, [or attempts to do so,] 
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 
years, or both.
    [(b) Travel With Intent To Engage in Sexual Act With a 
Juvenile.--A person who travels in interstate commerce, or 
conspires to do so, or a United States citizen or an alien 
admitted for permanent residence in the United States who 
travels in foreign commerce, or conspires to do so, for the 
purpose of engaging in any sexual act (as defined in section 
2246) with a person under 18 years of age that would be in 
violation of chapter 109A if the sexual act occurred in the 
special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United 
States shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more 
than 15 years, or both.]
    (b) Travel With Intent To Engage in Illicit Sexual 
Conduct.--A person who travels in interstate commerce or 
travels into the United States, or a United States citizen or 
an alien admitted for permanent residence in the United States 
who travels in foreign commerce, for the purpose of engaging in 
any illicit sexual conduct with another person shall be fined 
under this title or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.
    (c) Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct in Foreign Places.--
Any United States citizen or alien admitted for permanent 
residence who travels in foreign commerce, and engages in any 
illicit sexual conduct with another person shall be fined under 
this title or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.
    (d) Ancillary Offenses.--Whoever arranges, induces, 
procures, or facilitates the travel of a person knowing that 
such a person is traveling in interstate commerce or foreign 
commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct 
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 
years, or both.
    (e) Attempt and Conspiracy.--Whoever attempts or conspires 
to violate subsection (a), (b), (c), or (d) shall be punishable 
in the same manner as a completed violation of that subsection.
    (f) Definition.--As used in this section, the term 
``illicit sexual conduct'' means (1) a sexual act (as defined 
in section 2246) with a person that would be in violation of 
chapter 109A if the sexual act occurred in the special maritime 
and territorial jurisdiction of the United States; or (2) any 
commercial sex act (as defined in section 1591) with a person 
who the individual engaging in the commercial sex act, knows or 
should have known has not attained the age of 18 years.

                           Markup Transcript



                            BUSINESS MEETING

                         TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2002

                  House of Representatives,
                                Committee on the Judiciary,
                                                    Washington, DC.
    The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:06 a.m., in 
Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. F. James 
Sensenbrenner, Jr. [Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The Committee will be in order.
    [Intervening business.]
    The next item on the agenda is H.R. 4477, the ``Sex Tourism 
Prohibition Improvement Act of 2002.''
    The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Smith, 
the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and 
Homeland Security.
    Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman, the Subcommittee on Crime, 
Terrorism, and Homeland Security reports favorably the bill 
H.R. 4477 and moves its favorable recommendation to the full 
House.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Without objection, H.R. 4477 will 
be considered as read and open for amendment at any point.
    [The bill, H.R. 4477, follows:]
    
    
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. And the Chair recognizes himself 
for purposes of making a statement.
    This bill is legislation I introduced along with 
Representatives Hyde and Smith to address a number of problems 
relating to persons who travel to foreign countries and then 
engage in illicit sexual relations with minors.
    According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited 
Children, child sex tourism contributes to the sexual 
exploitation of children and is increasing. There are more than 
100 Web sites devoted to promoting teenage commercial sex in 
Asia alone. Because poorer countries are often under economic 
pressure to develop tourism, these governments also often turn 
a blind eye toward this devastating problem because of the 
income it produces. Children around the world have become 
trapped and exploited by the sex tourism industry.
    Current law requires the Government to prove that the 
defendant traveled to a foreign country with the intent to 
engage in sex with a minor. H.R. 4477 eliminates the intent 
requirement where the defendant completes the travel and 
actually engages in the illicit sexual activity with a minor.
    This bill also criminalizes the actions of sex tour 
operators by prohibiting persons from arranging, inducing, 
procuring, or facilitating the travel of a person knowing that 
such person is traveling in interstate or foreign commerce for 
the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor.
    This legislation will close significant loopholes in the 
law that persons who travel to foreign countries seeking sex 
with children are currently using to their advantage in order 
to avoid prosecution.
    I urge my colleagues to support the legislation and yield 
the balance of my time to the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Smith, 
for his comments.
    Well, if the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Smith, has no 
comments, there are now how many votes on the floor? There are 
three votes on the floor. The Committee is recessed until 10 
o'clock tomorrow morning.
    [Whereupon, at 2:16 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]

           *         *         *         *         *

    The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:29 a.m., in 
Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. F. James 
Sensenbrenner, Jr. [Chairman of the Committee] presiding.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The Committee will be in order. A 
working quorum is present.
    When the Committee recessed yesterday, pending was H.R. 
4477, the ``Sex Tourism Prohibition Improvement Act of 2002,'' 
upon which a motion to report favorably had been made. By 
previous order of the Committee, the bill had been considered 
as read and open for amendment at any point.
    For what purpose does the gentleman from Texas seek 
recognition?
    Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The clerk will report the 
amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 4477, offered by Mr. Smith.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Without objection, the amendment is 
considered as read.
    [The amendment follows:]
    
    
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman from Texas is 
recognized for 5 minutes.
    Mr. Smith. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Chairman, this amendment would address an issue that 
was raised at the Subcommittee and amend section 2(a) of the 
bill relating to the definition of illicit sexual conduct. The 
amendment also contains a technical change to section 2(b).
    Under the current language of the bill, the definition of 
illicit sexual conduct includes ``any commercial sex act with a 
person who has not attained the age of 18 years.''
    This definition would preclude a defendant from offering 
any evidence that he or she had no knowledge that the person 
was under the age of 18 and would create a strict liability 
crime. This amendment would insert language that would require 
the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the 
individual engaging in the commercial sex act knows or should 
have known that the person had not attained the age of 18.
    This amendment is supported by the Department of Justice, 
and I urge my colleagues to support it as well. Mr. Chairman, 
I'd like to yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from 
Arizona, Mr. Flake.
    Mr. Flake. I thank the gentleman for yielding. I thank the 
Chairman for bringing this bill forward.
    In Arizona a few weeks ago, the ABC affiliate, channel 15, 
sent a group of reporters to Mexico, to the city of Puerto 
Vallarta. They had a child there pose as an underage child, 
telling people that he was 14 years old and went to the beach, 
on the beachfront, just to see how big a problem this is.
    This young boy was propositioned dozens of times within a 
couple of hours. And he openly told them that he was only 14. 
American men prowl the beaches there and proposition kids as 
young as 8 years old for sex and pornography.
    It is a problem, and we need to deal with it. And this bill 
goes a long way toward closing the loophole of proving intent. 
And so these individuals not only to worry about their 
conscience, but they have to worry now about the Federal 
Government coming after them.
    This is conduct that we cannot countenance, and I 
appreciate the Chairman bringing this bill forward, and I 
support it all the way.
    And I yield back.
    Mr. Smith. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my 
time as well.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. 
Scott.
    Mr. Scott. Mr. Chairman, move to strike the last word.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman is recognized for 5 
minutes.
    Mr. Scott. Mr. Chairman, I support the amendment. And I 
think when we left last time, the Chairman and the Chairman of 
the Subcommittee had opening statements, and I didn't have an 
opportunity to make an opening statement, so I think I would--
--
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. Go ahead.
    Mr. Scott. Thank you.
    Mr. Chairman, I'm pleased to join you in convening this 
markup of H.R. 4477, the ``Sex Tourism Prohibition Improvement 
Act of 2002.'' The act expands a provision in law that is 
already overly broad, in my opinion, in that it includes two 
teenagers, one or both of whom to travels from D.C. to 
Virginia, or vice versa, to engage in sex or heavy petting. 
They don't actually have to do under the bill; they have to 
travel with intent.
    Current law also covers travel and foreign commerce by U.S. 
citizen or permanent resident alien for the purpose of engaging 
in such acts. Given the cultural differences around the world 
regarding age of maturity and sexual mores, we already paint 
with a broad brush in this area by making illegal that which 
may also be fairly normal in certain areas.
    This bill expands the travel-with-intent provision to now 
apply to consensual acts under chapter 109A that involve 
attempts to travel with intent to commit an illegal sexual act.
    Now, one question raised by the bill is, when is the 
attempt to travel completed? Have you made an attempt when you 
call your travel agent? When you buy a ticket? When you call a 
cab? When you get in the cab? Or start to drive to the airport? 
What happens if you change your mind? Have you completed the 
attempt?
    I think the bill is overly broad, and I'll offer an 
amendment aimed at narrowing it to avoid covering teenagers. 
The law is already overly broad in this area, and we shouldn't 
broaden it further to include teenagers who agree across State 
lines to engage in heavy petting under the law.
    I yield back.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentlewoman from California?
    Ms. Lofgren. I'd move to strike the last word.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentlewoman is recognized for 5 
minutes.
    Ms. Lofgren. I am mindful of the issue raised by my 
colleague Mr. Scott, but I really do believe that the measure--
and I will certainly look at his amendment--is crafted in a way 
that the object of the prosecution will be these rings that 
have sprung up around the country and certainly in California, 
where there are businesses whose sole purpose is to provide and 
accommodate pedophiles who are traveling. And in California, it 
seems to be mainly the travel is to Asia, where the children 
are preyed upon for money.
    And it is not a small issue. It is a very large issue, and 
it is well-known. Certainly in California, there have been a 
number of prosecutions recently in California that have been 
made very difficult. But I have even had Members of the House 
who have been on foreign travel tell me that they have observed 
American men preying on small children in some of the Asian 
countries that Members have visited on codels. And this has 
raised concern among some of our colleagues.
    So I think it is very important that we pass a bill that 
attempts to shut this industry down, and I think that we ought 
to show a great deal of concern for the innocent victims, these 
children, not just American children but children throughout 
the world who are being preyed upon by American pedophiles.
    So having said that, I will certainly look at any amendment 
that refines the bill. But I just wanted to thank the Chairman 
of the Committee for bringing this forward, because I think it 
is a serious issue that deserves our serious attention.
    And I yield back the balance of my time.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The question is on the technical 
amendment offered by the gentleman from Texas, Mr. Smith.
    Those in favor will say aye.
    Opposed, no.
    The ayes appear to have it. The ayes have it, and the 
amendment is agreed to.
    Are there further amendments?
    The gentleman from Virginia, Mr. Scott.
    Mr. Scott. I have an amendment at the desk, Mr. Chairman.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The clerk will report the 
amendment.
    The Clerk. Amendment to H.R. 4477, offered by Mr. Scott. On 
page 3, line 7, after the second period, insert ``with respect 
to section 2243(a) of chapter 109A, this act only applies if 
the offending adult is age 21 or older.''
    [The amendment follows:]
    
    
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. The gentleman is recognized for 5 
minutes.
    Mr. Scott. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    This amendment would require that violations under 2243(a) 
involve an adult of at least 21 years of age to avoid the 
prospect of prosecuting the older of two teenage lovers if they 
even talk about or attempt to travel across State lines or 
foreign boundaries with the intent to engage in consensual 
sexual activity, including what is referred to as heavy 
petting, because the provision covers touching through the 
definition of sexual act.
    It is already a Federal felony with up to 15 years 
imprisonment for a 15-year-old high school student to do these 
kinds of things with a 19-year-old boyfriend or girlfriend. Now 
we're going after them internationally. We don't need to do 
that in order to get at what we're talking about in the bill. 
We're covering commercial sex transactions. There's no need for 
us to go after consensual activities between teenagers that 
have nothing to do with the title and direction of the bill.
    I'd also point out, Mr. Chairman, that this involves 
conspiracy, so if they've talked about it and agree to do it, 
and ancillary offenses--whoever arranges, induces, procures, or 
facilitates the travel. I guess if the taxicab driver finds out 
that the people talking in the backseat are going to do these 
kinds of things, that the taxicab driver could get implicated.
    I would hope that we would limit this and not make this the 
Hormone Protection Act or something, where we're going after 
teenagers, and make it apply only actual adults who are 
engaging in these activities.
    I yield back.
    Chairman Sensenbrenner. I recognize myself in opposition to 
the amendment.
    This amendment actually goes backward under the current 
law. The current law, which is 18 U.S.C., section 2243(a), 
provides that whoever knowingly engages in a sexual act with 
another person who is 12 to 15 years old and is at least 4 
years older than the victim shall be fined or imprisoned not 
more than 15 years or both.
    What the Scott amendment does is that it amends this 
section of the statute to say that if you're under 21, you 
can't be prosecuted, period. So that means a 20-year-old that 
engages in a sexual act with a 12-year-old gets off the hook.
    Now, I think that's exploitative. You know, that's not the 
way hormones work. And I've got two teenage boys getting out of 
the nest, and they tell me that isn't the way it works either. 
None of their contemporaries are interested in people who are 
12 years old.
    So I think the purpose of this bill is to try to get at 
people who cross an international boundary to do this. And to 
say that, if we defeat this bill, you can cross an 
international boundary and be able to do what you can't do if 
you cross a State line I think is ridiculous.
    So I think we ought to defeat the amendment. We ought to 
keep 2243(a) the way it is.
    And I yield back the balance of my time.
    The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Virginia, Mr. Scott.
    Those in favor will say aye.
    Opposed, no.
    The noes appear to have it. The noes have it.
    Are there further amendments?
    If not, the--a reporting quorum is not present.
    Without objection, the previous question is ordered, and 
further proceedings will be postponed.
    [Intervening business.]
    The unfinished business is the motion to report favorably 
the bill H.R. 4477, upon which the previous question had been 
ordered. H.R. 4477 is the ``Sex Tourism Prohibition Improvement 
Act of 2002.'' The Chair notes the presence of a reporting 
quorum.
    Those in favor of reporting the bill favorably will say 
aye.
    Opposed, no.
    The ayes appear to have it. The ayes have it, and the 
motion to report the bill favorably is agreed to.
    Without objection, the bill will be reported favorably to 
the House in the form of a single amendment in the nature of a 
substitute, incorporating the amendments adopted here today. 
Without objection, the Chairman is authorized to move to go to 
conference pursuant to House rules. Without objection, the 
staff is directed to make any technical and conforming changes. 
And all Members will be given 2 days, as provided by House 
rules, in which to submit additional, dissenting, supplemental, 
or minority views.
                            Dissenting Views

    I/We dissent from the portion of this bill that would make 
it a felony, with up to 15 years in prison, for the older of 
two teenage high school lovers to attempt, or even talk about, 
traveling across state or foreign boundaries to engage in 
consensual sexual activity, including what is referred to as 
heavy petting, since the provision covers even touching through 
the definition of ``sexual act.'' It is already a serious 
felony with up to 15 years in prison for such teenagers to 
engage in these consensual activities in the U.S., and now we 
would make it just as serious a felony to even attempt to 
travel from Virginia to D.C. with intent to engage in 
consensual sexual activity, or to even to talk about it. 
Certainly there are individuals and situations covered by the 
bill with which we can all agree, such as sexual predators who 
prey upon children, but we do not have to put wayward teenagers 
in this group as this bill does. During Committee markup of the 
bill, an amendment was offered by Rep. Scott to eliminate 
consensual sexual activities by teens, but it was rejected.
    Since the bill covers foreign travel by U.S. citizens and 
resident aliens traveling from the U.S., we are dictating to 
the world our notions of serious felony crimes, regardless of 
the cultural norms of other countries. Just as the average age 
of marriage in this country was 15 for a female and 21 for a 
male until about 50 years ago, other countries have much 
younger averages now than does the US and provide for 
consensual relationships to begin between young people much 
earlier.
    Since the bill covers commercial sex transactions, 
regardless of age or consent of the participants, and since 
States as well as all civilized foreign countries have laws 
against the underlying activities the bill is aimed, there is 
no demonstrated need to add more Federal criminal laws to go 
after consensual activities which have nothing to do with the 
title and focus of the bill.

                                   Jerrold Nadler.
                                   Robert C. Scott.
                                   Melvin L. Watt.