President Clinton Signs
By Associated Press
President Clinton signed the National Child Protection Act yesterday, attended by, from left, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, Andrew Vachss, Oprah Winfrey, ex-Illinois Governor Jim Thompson and Representative Pat Schroeder, D-Colo. The law will create a database to help track child abusers. Later, Clinton met with Mark Klaas, who pressed for harsher penalties for violent repeat offenders such as the suspect in the kidnap-slaying of his daughter, Polly.
At the signing of the National Child Protection Act, President Clinton invited Oprah Winfrey, a supporter of the legislation, to speak. Also attending were Health Secretary Donna E. Shalala and Andrew Vachss, an author and lawyer specializing in juvenile justice and child abuse. Mr. Vachss suggested the bill while a guest on Ms. Winfrey's talk show. Later, Mr. Clinton awarded grants of $50 million to 74 cities to increase the number of police officers.
THE WHITE HOUSE
For Immediate Release December 20, 1993
Today the President will sign the National Child Protection Act of 1993, which seeks to give parents the assurance that their children are not being cared for by criminals.
To accomplish this, the bill:
Among those joining the President at the signing ceremony today will be actress/producer Oprah Winfrey, a survivor of child abuse who has been a vocal proponent of the legislation, which is informally known as "the Oprah Bill."
Also at the Roosevelt Room ceremony will be Andrew Vachss, the originator of the idea of a national background check, the bill's Congressional sponsors—Sen. Joseph Biden, Rep. Patricia Schroeder, and Rep. Don Edwards—and former Illinois Governor James R. Thompson, who has worked with Ms. Winfrey on the legislation.
Among the organizations represented at the ceremony will be the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Girl Scouts USA, the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse, Children's Defense Fund, Child Welfare League of America, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, and the National Collaboration for Youth.
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