The House has passed legislation permitting the Internal Revenue Service to share taxpayer information with state and local law enforcement agencies to help find missing or exploited children, while maintaining safeguards for sensitive taxpayer information.

The bipartisan legislation, known as the Recovering Missing Children Act, was sponsored by Rep. Erik Paulsen, R-Minn.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, more than 200,000 children are abducted by family members every year.

“Critical information that would help locate abducted children is right at law enforcement’s fingertips, but they aren’t able to access it,” said Paulsen in a statement. “The Recovering Missing Children Act fixes this problem by allowing investigators in missing children cases to use resources that could lead directly to the child and abductor. This bill is about bringing these children home and reuniting them with their loved ones.”

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, issued a statement Tuesday praising the House for passing the bill. "Today, the House took action to give law enforcement officials another tool they need to solve child abduction cases and bring missing and exploited children home safely,” said Brady.

“I appreciate Congressman Paulsen’s strong leadership on this issue. His bill struck just the right balance in helping children, supporting local law enforcement, and protecting sensitive taxpayer information. I urge the Senate to take swift action on this important legislation. Children and their families should no longer be at risk because of unintended consequences of our tax code.”

The Recovering Missing Children Act is 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.

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