WALDEN VOTES TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM PREDATORS; HAILS PASSAGE OF PLAN TO PROTECT AMERICA'S YOUTH; HAILS PASSAGE OF PLAN TO PROTECT AMERICA'S YOUTH
U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly supports bipartisan Children's Safety Act of 2005
September 14, 2005 - WASHINGTON, DC -
U.S. Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) today joined with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to protect America’s children by voting in favor of the Children’s Safety Act of 2005 (HR 3132). The legislation, which Walden co-sponsored and passed the House with a vote of 371-52, would take steps to improve sex offender registration, verification and notification systems while establishing mandatory minimum sentencing for these perpetrators.
“Too many times we have heard the heartbreaking stories about innocent, young children who have suffered at the hands of convicted sex offenders. As a concerned parent, I feel frustrated when I hear that thousands of convicted sex offenders fail to register in communities as required under current law; this becomes even more disturbing when you find out that one of these ‘lost’ predators has repeated their crime with a new victim,” said Walden.
He added, “I know how important it is for families to feel safe and secure in their homes and communities. The common sense reforms and strong initiatives found in HR 3132 would do more to ensure the safety of our children than any federal law since the establishment of the Amber Alert plan. This bill would help moms and dads in our district, and throughout the nation, have greater peace of mind.”
In order to strengthen the security of families and children across the country, the Act would:
· Expand coverage of sex offenders to include any felony sex offense and misdemeanor sex offenses;
· Expand covered offenses against children to include possession of child pornography as a triggering offense for registration and notification requirements;
· Require sex offenders to register prior to release from prison;
· Increase the duration of required periodic registration;
· Authorize the creation of up to ten demonstration programs for electronic monitoring of sex offenders;
· Ensure mandatory minimum punishment for violent and sexual crimes against children.
The legislation is now headed to the Senate for their approval.
Congressman Walden represents the Second Congressional District of Oregon, which includes 20 counties in southern, central and eastern Oregon. He is a Deputy Whip in the House leadership structure and a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Committee on Resources.