Freedom First Society

Issue: H.R. 3092 “E. Clay Shaw, Jr. Missing Children’s Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2013.”  Question: On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass, as Amended (2/3 vote required).

Result: Passed in House, 407 to 2, 23 not voting. Agreed to in Senate without amendment by unanimous consent, 9/25/13. Became Public Law 113-38 (signed by president on 9/30/13). GOP and Democrats scored.

From Congressional Research Service Summary:

“[H.R. 3092] adds to the authorized uses of the annual federal grant to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children….

“Authorizes the Administration to make grants or enter into contracts with the Center and with public agencies or nonprofit private organizations for research, demonstration projects, or service programs designed to: (1) educate schools, school leaders, teachers, state and local educational agencies, homeless shelters, and service providers in ways to prevent the abduction and sexual exploitation of children; and (2) aid schools in the collection of materials useful to parents in assisting others in the identification of missing children.

(Sec. 3) Authorizes appropriations for FY2014-FY2018, including specified funds each year for the annual grant to the Center.

(Sec. 4) Subjects grant recipients to audits by the DOJ Inspector General for two of the fiscal years between FY2014 and FY2018.”

Analysis: H.R. 3092 provides an excellent example of legislation that uses a legitimate national concern — missing and exploited children — to perpetuate and extend unconstitutional federal overreach. Compared to the total federal budget, this expenditure is pretty small potatoes. However, reestablishing the Constitution as a limit on federal activity will require vigilant adherence to principle by many more congressmen.

Funding private, non-profit corporations through federal grants is nowhere authorized in the Constitution. This practice began to flourish once the Federal government had acquired deep pockets through the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Act and the income tax. What the federal government terms “assistance” is just a step toward federal control.

The annual grants to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) raise a similar concern. H.R. 3082 authorized up to $32 million per year to the Center for five years. The United States Congress established the Center in 1984 as a private, non-profit organization through the Missing Children’s Assistance Act. The Center draws its funding primarily through appropriations for the Justice Department.

According to Wikipedia:

“NCMEC acts as an information clearinghouse and resource for parents, children, law enforcement agencies, schools, and communities to assist in locating missing children and to raise public awareness about ways to prevent child abduction, child sexual abuse, and child pornography….

“The Center provides information to help locate children reported missing (by parental abduction, child abduction, or running away from home) and to assist physically and sexually abused children.” [Emphasis added.]

One of the tactics that has outflanked our traditional system of representative government is for a government-funded NGO to launch another NGO. In 1998, the federally established National Center founded a separate organization — the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. In 2008, the United Nations Economic and Social Council granted the International Centre “Special Consultative Status.”

Many American don’t understand how a vocal revolutionary minority is regularly able to impose its values on the majority. One part of the explanation is that many of the revolutionaries draw their salaries from federal programs, whereas the increasingly burdened American middle class must defend itself with after-tax dollars in its spare time.

In the months leading up to the September 1983 Soviet shoot down of the Korean airliner carrying Congressman Lawrence McDonald, McDonald had publicly charged that some 10,000 leftwing organizations were drawing money from the public trough.

While the regular extension of federal reach through quasi non-governmental organizations is one problem, many of the programs directly administered by the federal government also lack constitutional authority. They contradict the Constitution’s plan for a federal government that performs only the specifically authorized functions appropriate to the union of sovereign states, such as foreign relations. Lack of respect for these limits in Congress is directly responsible for the resulting federal monster.

Accordingly, we were disappointed to see that this act requires the “Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the Department of Justice” to send annual reports to the president and [Committees of] Congress. We did not even know such an office existed.

The Act also requires the Administrator “to coordinate with the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness to ensure that homeless services professionals are aware of educational resources and assistance provided by the Center regarding child sexual exploitation.” (From CRS Summary.)

President George Washington in his Farewell Address gave excellent, but long ignored counsel to future generations of Americans:

“If in the opinion of the People, the distribution or modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in once instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”

We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)

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