The House has overwhelmingly approved legislation creating a nationwide Amber Alert network. The vote was 410-14.
The measure includes numerous child protection measures, including a "two strikes and you're out" provision. It requires mandatory life in prison for child sex offenders after the second conviction.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner said those added provisions make the bill stronger. But they could also delay nationwide implementation of the popular system.
Those measures face resistance in the Senate -- which is why some Democrats questioned the approach to the measure, but not its substance.
They warned that by adding extra provisions to the AMBER Alert system, lawmakers could be keeping the Senate from considering the bill again this year.
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The AMBER Plan
The AMBER Plan is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies and broadcasters to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases.
Broadcasters use the Emergency Alert System (EAS), formerly called the Emergency Broadcast System, to air a description of the missing child and suspected abductor.
This is the same concept used during severe weather emergencies. The goal of the AMBER Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and safe return of the child.
How Does the AMBER Plan Work?
AMBER Plans Nationwide
Source: http://www.missingkids.org/ (The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Web site)
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