WASHINGTON – Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Dianne Feinstein of California, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Rob Portman of Ohio and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota introduced the bipartisan Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 2018. The bill would reauthorize the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and continue the fight against child abduction and exploitation.
“Every instance of a missing child is a tragedy and we cannot let up on our fight against child abduction and exploitation,” Grassley said. “The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children works every day to help families, caregivers, schools and communities prevent the exploitation of children and aid in their recovery. This is an important bill to support and modernize that work. I look forward to helping it become law very soon.”
“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children does critical work to protect children from abuse, exploitation and abduction and to help with their recovery. This bill will improve the group’s efforts and deserves to be passed as soon as possible,” Feinstein said.
The legislation updates terms that are used in the Missing Children’s Assistance Act to reflect the latest research and trends. It extends funding for five more years, at the current level of $40 million, for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other organizations that help prevent and respond to offenses committed against vulnerable children. It also ensures continued federal support of efforts by state and local entities to recover missing and exploited children—including children who are the victim of kidnapping and child pornography crimes. And the bill includes measures to ensure that school personnel, law enforcement, individuals and other non-governmental organizations can receive technical assistance and training on how to prevent, recover, and help missing, abducted or exploited children.
The legislation will be considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee alongside related measures in the coming weeks.
In a letter to the bill sponsors, the current president and CEO of NCMEC offered his strong support for the bipartisan legislation and thanked the senators for their continued work fighting child exploitation and their efforts to modernize the law to combat new and emerging issues like sextortion.
Full text of the bill can be found HERE.