Bean's Missing & Exploited Children Renewal Passes House

Bean's Missing & Exploited Children Renewal Passes House

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
April 10, 2024

No parent ever wishes for their child to go missing or be abducted, yet these tragedies continue. Thankfully, Representative Aaron Bean's (R-FL) Missing Children's Assistance Renewal Act of 2023 reauthorizes the provisions of the original Act and expands upon them, allowing parents and law enforcement to better locate and rescue missing and exploited children.

Rep. Bean introduced the bipartisan bill with Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT), which updates the abilities of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in fighting child trafficking, such as assisting law enforcement in finding, identifying, and rescuing victims, and developing strategies and educational materials in countering online enticement, trafficking, cyberbullying, and extortion.

Other provisions include increasing NCMEC's ability to assist in conducting background checks on individuals seeking to work with children, offering support services to victims and their families, and facilitating the removal of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) from the internet.

In his press release, Rep. Bean said, "As a father of three, I cannot imagine the pain of a missing or exploited child. Reauthorizing the MCAA gives hope and encouragement to loved ones during a time of immense heartbreak and uncertainty. Time is a critical factor in the search effort, and this bill will modernize the reporting system, so law enforcement can quickly find missing children and bring closure to countless families. Today’s vote is an important step in the fight to prevent child victimization, sexual exploitation, and abductions, and I look forward to seeing this bill signed into law."

Rep. Courtney was also quoted as saying, "The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has provided critical lifesaving help for families, law enforcement, and child protection agencies that have to be maintained. With bipartisan House passage of the Missing Children’s Assistance Reauthorization Act, we are ensuring the Center has the latest, up-to-date resources it needs to continue protecting children and supporting families, which is particularly important today as more children are falling victim to predatory online practices."

Bean's bill passing the House comes hot on the heels of several bills Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has signed into Florida law strengthening punitive measures against pedophilia, grants toward sting operations catching pedophiles, and improving officer training to recognize domestic violence situations.

Earlier this week, Representative Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) announced her plans to introduce legislation increasing the Federal minimum for rape of children and adults to life in prison or the death penalty, saying, "You cannot cure predators."

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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