Mr. President, I am proud to join my colleagues Senator Casey from Pennsylvania and Senator Enzi from Wyoming to speak in support of our bipartisan legislation, the Recovering Missing Children Act, something we have been working on for so long. 

I remember hearing about this in a Judiciary Committee hearing and learning about the surprising number of cases that can be solved when this information from the IRS is shared with law enforcement. It sounds almost absurd that information is sitting in government files of where a child who has been abducted is living, but in fact it is. Oftentimes the abductor claims the child on taxes or has their address on their taxes and it is as easy as looking at a file. A family can be reunited, and a child who wasn't supposed to be taken from their home can be brought back to their home. 

As my colleagues have noted, our bill would give law enforcement officers important tools to solve some of the most heartbreaking cases. To accomplish this, the bill will offer information sharing by Federal law enforcement officers on a limited basis. It was something we discussed at length in the Judiciary Committee, and I know we also discussed it in the Finance Committee with the State and local law enforcement officials who are involved in the investigation and prosecution of a case. Under current law, the IRS is barred from sharing its taxpayer information with local law enforcement, even though in many cases the IRS actually has the location of the child. Imagine a hardworking local police officer out trying to find a kid, looking everywhere, following up on every lead, and our own government has the information in their files. This is a narrow exception that allows this information to be shared. 

As a former prosecutor, I know firsthand that returning missing children to their families is one of the most important tasks law enforcement officers have, and they need every resource available to do their job. The faster law enforcement can locate the child, the greater the likelihood the child can be returned to their family unharmed, and they can go on to live a normal life. 

I do want to mention one person who has been someone I talk to about missing and exploited children issues, and that is Patty Wetterling from the State of Minnesota. There was a horrible case in which her son Jacob was abducted years and years ago and never found. She served as the chair on the board of the missing and exploited children group. She has done so much work nationally and locally. While we don't believe this would have helped in Jacob's case, she did it for all those other children who are still out there. So this one is for you, Patty. Thank you. 

I yield the floor.