"Today, Internet child pornography may be the fastest-growing crime in America, increasing an average of 150 percent per year," Smith said. "The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed more than 51 million child pornography images and videos in the hopes of identifying the victims in them.
"These images of children being sexually assaulted are crime scene photos — and each face represents a child in desperate need of help," he added.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) is one of 19 Democrats on the bill, and indicated her willingness to quickly pass the legislation in the House.
"This is a common-sense bill that provides the resources and tools our law enforcement officers need to apprehend child predators," she said. "I look forward to passing this bill in a timely, bipartisan manner, so that we can rescue the thousands of children suffering from unthinkable abuse."
The Child Protection Act, H.R. 6063, would increase the penalty for possession of child pornography to up to 20 years in prison. It would also increase protections for child victims and witnesses, and give the U.S. Marshals Service subpoena authority to apprehend fugitives in sex offender cases.