House Passes H.R. 4472

Michael Hayes
WASHINGTON — A bill that could dramatically alter the 2257 record-keeping statute has moved one step closer to becoming law as the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, sending the legislation to President Bush for his signature.

The bill, which the House passed by voice vote, targets pedophiles and child molesters by creating a national sex offender database. However, a relatively small amount of language contained in the bill amends 2257 by bringing secondary producers within the scope of the record-keeping law, Free Speech Coalition attorney Jeffrey Douglas said.

According to Douglas, the bill also mandates record-keeping for depictions of simulated sex act and exhibitions of mere nudity.

Backers of the bill hope to have President Bush sign it July 27, the anniversary of the abduction of Adam Walsh, for whom the bill is named. Walsh, the son of “America’s Most Wanted” host John Walsh, was abducted from a Hollywood, Fla., Sears department store in 1981 at age six. His severed head was later found; however, the rest of his remains are still missing. His killer is still at large.

Although Douglas stressed that the bill would not become law until the president signed it, Bush has vetoed only one bill — a measure denying federal funds for stem cell research — since taking office in 2000.

News of the House vote prompted praise from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

"America's children will be better protected from every parent's worst nightmare — sexual predators — thanks to passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006,” Gonzales said. “I applaud both the House and Senate — and in particular the leadership of Chairman Specter in the Senate and Chairman Sensenbrenner in the House — for passing this comprehensive bill, which includes provisions proposed by the Department of Justice. The protection of our nation's children has been, and will continue to be, one of the Department's highest priorities, and we believe this bill will help us do our job even better."