Courtney Announces The Recovering Missing Children Act Has Been Signed Into Law By President Obama
WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) announced that the bipartisan Recovering Missing Children Act which he co-leads with Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The Recovering Missing Children Act passed the House of Representatives in May and the U.S. Senate earlier this month. The new law will allow law enforcement officials, with a warrant, to access tax returns that will help investigators locate abducted children. Law enforcement was previously granted similar access to IRS records when investigating some federal crimes such as terrorist acts, or tracking down a fugitive, but not in missing children investigations.
"I am very pleased that this important piece of legislation which will help bring kidnapped children home has been signed into law by President Obama,” said Courtney. “My colleague, Rep. Erik Paulsen and I first introduced this bill in 2011, and we have remained strong advocates for it ever since. Missing children investigations are incredibly complex and challenging for law enforcement officials to solve, and we should be providing them with every conceivable tool that can help bring children home safely. We should not be leaving a single rock unturned when it comes to finding and returning missing children to their families.
“This law will allow law enforcement officials to access tax returns that could help locate abducted children. Surprisingly often, abductors, especially parents who illegally take children during custody disputes, file for tax credits using the Social Security number of the kidnapped child. Law enforcement already has similar access to IRS records when investigating some crimes such as terrorist acts, or tracking down fugitives, but not in missing children investigations. This law has now been changed to allow that access in these investigations. I want to thank Rep. Paulsen, and all of my colleagues from both parties who were able to put political differences aside to help us get this done.”
The Recovering Missing Children Act was supported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children along with law enforcement organizations like the Fraternal Order of Police, the Sergeants Benevolent Association, the National Association of Police Officers, and the Major County Sheriffs Association. A 2010 New York Times piece titled ‘I.R.S. Sits on Data Pointing to Missing Children’ which discusses the issue in depth is available here.