U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today called on Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to call up and pass two bills aimed at protecting children from exploitation. The two bills are H.R. 3791, the Securing Adolescents from Exploitation-Online (SAFE) Act, and a modified version of S. 1738, the Combating Child Exploitation Act.
“It’s time to stop playing politics, bring these bills to the Senate floor, and let the Senate approve them,” said Alexander. “Child exploitation should not get caught up in partisan politics. I ask the Majority Leader to call up and pass these two bills without delay, and without either being attached to other legislation that could prevent them from becoming law.”
Alexander is a cosponsor of both S. 1738 and S. 519 (the Senate version of the SAFE Act), which include the following provisions:
Combating Child Exploitation Act
• The Combating Child Exploitation Act (S. 1738) would create a nationwide network of highly trained law enforcement experts to track down and prosecute child predators who exploit children.
• This legislation was sponsored by Senator Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in July 2008.
• The modified version of S. 1738 backed by Alexander was included in S. 3297, sponsored by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and S. 3344, sponsored by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).
• The Senate has rejected Senator Reid’s efforts to pass the SAFE Act as part of a 400-page “omnibus” bill that includes three dozen unrelated measures.
The SAFE Act
• The SAFE Act would make significant improvements to an existing law that requires Internet service providers to report apparent child pornography on their systems to a “CyberTipline,” a central reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation that serves as a “911 for the Internet.”
• The House version (H.R. 3791) passed the House of Representatives in December 2007 by a vote of 409-2.
• Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) is the lead sponsor of the Senate version (S. 519), which is co-sponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), and at least eight other senators.