The bill’s passage advances the Senate Judiciary Committee’s bipartisan push to stop the exploitation of children online
WASHINGTON – This week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Missing Children’s Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2023. The bill renews funding for the Missing Children’s Assistance Act (MCAA) through Fiscal Year 2028 and updates the statute concerning the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
As the bill’s sponsors, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on its passage:
“NCMEC’s work is an invaluable lifeline. For nearly 40 years, the organization has protected kids from exploitation nationwide, and it needs to be able to continue its work uninterrupted. While the Senate Judiciary Committee continues to find bipartisan successes advancing legislation to hold Big Tech accountable and stop the exploitation of children online, we must reauthorize the MCAA to keep these programs strong. We urge our colleagues in the House to protect our kids by passing this bill swiftly, so President Biden can sign it into law.”
NCMEC, which receives funding through the MCAA, describes itself as “a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. NCMEC works with families, victims, private industry, law enforcement, and the public to assist with preventing child abductions, recovering missing children, and providing services to deter and combat child sexual exploitation.” Among its many programs, NCMEC operates:
In addition to reauthorizing NCMEC’s grant, the legislation makes minor revisions to its authorization. Specifically, the Missing Children’s Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2023 would:
Historically, this legislation has been sponsored by the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Since the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on this issue in February, six bills have recently advanced out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan basis to help stop the exploitation of kids online, including: