[House Report 113-451]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


113th Congress  }                                            {   Report
  2d Session    }        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES            {  113-451

=======================================================================
 
             STOP ADVERTISING VICTIMS OF EXPLOITATION ACT 
                                OF 2014 

                                _______
                                

  May 15, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Goodlatte, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 4225]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 4225) to amend title 18, United States Code, to 
provide a penalty for knowingly selling advertising that offers 
certain commercial sex acts, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     3
Purpose and Summary..............................................     3
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     4
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     7
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     7
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     7
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................     8
Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings..............................     8
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     8
Advisory on Earmarks.............................................     8
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     8
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     9
Dissenting Views.................................................    10

                             The Amendment

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Stop Advertising Victims of 
Exploitation Act of 2014'' or the ``SAVE Act of 2014''.

SEC. 2. ADVERTISING THAT OFFERS CERTAIN COMMERCIAL SEX ACTS.

  (a) In General.--Section 1591 of title 18, United States Code, is 
amended in subsection (a)(1), by inserting after ``obtains,'' the 
following: ``advertises,''.
  (b) Mens Rea Requirement.--Section 1591 of title 18, United States 
Code, is amended in subsection (a), by inserting after ``knowing, or'' 
the following: ``, except where, in an offense under paragraph (2), the 
act constituting the violation of paragraph (1) is advertising,''.
  (c) Conforming Amendments.--Section 1591(b) of title 18, United 
States Code, is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``or obtained'' and 
        inserting ``obtained, or advertised''; and
          (2) in paragraph (2), by striking ``or obtained'' and 
        inserting ``obtained, or advertised''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R 4225, as amended, clarifies that 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1591, 
which criminalizes the knowing sex trafficking of minors and 
others through force, fraud, or coercion, can be violated when 
a defendant knowingly advertises a victim for a commercial sex 
act. This provision requires the government to prove that 
defendants accused of benefitting financially through the sale 
of such advertising knew that the victim was a minor or a 
victim of force, fraud, or coercion. The bill is technology 
neutral and applies to both advertisements online, as well as 
traditional advertisements.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    Pimps and traffickers sexually exploit children through 
street prostitution, in adult strip clubs, brothels, sex 
parties, motel rooms, hotel rooms, and other locations 
throughout the United States. The growth of the Internet and 
other technological advances, including mobile smartphones, has 
unfortunately been misused by these criminals to facilitate the 
commercial sexual exploitation of children. Specifically, 
criminals use these technologies as a convenient way to market 
these victims to potential purchasers. Individuals can now use 
websites to advertise, schedule, and purchase sexual encounters 
with minors. According to the Polaris Project, U.S. law 
enforcement has identified online advertisements as the primary 
platform for buying and selling sex with minors, and an FBI 
study found more than 2,800 minor victims were advertised on 
just one online advertisement service in 2008.\1\ It is 
estimated that revenue from online advertisements of 
prostitution generally (not just involving minors) surpassed 
$45 million last year.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\POLARIS PROJECT, INTERNET BASED HUMAN TRAFFICKING, http://
www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/sex-trafficking-in-the-us/
Internet-based.
    \2\AIM GROUP, ONLINE PROSTITUTION-AD REVENUE CROSSES CRAIGSLIST 
BENCHMARK, July 2013, available at http://aimgroup.com/2013/07/10/
online-prostitution-ad-revenue-crosses-craigslist-benchmark/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 4225 clarifies that the existing Federal sex 
trafficking statute, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1591, extends to 
traffickers who knowingly sell sex with minors and victims of 
force, fraud, or coercion through advertising, as well as 
people or entities that knowingly benefit from such 
advertising. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that, when a 
Federal statute contains an explicit mens rea provision, that 
standard applies to every element of the offense.\3\ Under 
current law, the government can show that a defendant either 
knew or recklessly disregarded the fact that a victim was a 
minor or involved through force, fraud, or coercion. H.R. 4225 
as reported requires the government to prove beyond a 
reasonable doubt that a defendant who benefits from the 
advertising of a trafficking victim under 18 U.S.C. 
Sec. 1591(a)(2) knew that the advertising involved a victim who 
the defendant knew was a minor or a victim of force, fraud, or 
coercion.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\See, e.g., Flores-Figueroa v. United States, 556 U.S. 646 
(2009); United States v. X-Citement Video, 513 U.S. 64 (1994).
    \4\``Knowingly'' does not have a uniform Federal definition. The 
Fifth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits define ``knowingly'' as meaning a 
defendant committed a criminal act ``voluntarily and intentionally, and 
not because of mistake or accident.'' Fifth Circuit Instruction 1.37; 
Tenth Circuit Instruction 1.37; Eleventh Circuit Instruction 9.1A. The 
Seventh and Ninth Circuits employ an instruction to the effect that 
```knowingly' . . . means that the defendant realized what he was doing 
and was aware of the nature of his conduct, and did not act through 
ignorance, mistake or accident.'' Seventh Circuit Instruction 4.10; 
Ninth Circuit Instruction 5.6. Other circuits have taken a case-by-case 
approach to the definition of ``knowingly.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 4225 clarifies that people who advertise sex 
trafficking can face criminal liability. The bill is technology 
neutral and applies to both advertisements online, as well as 
traditional advertisements. Under current law, Section 1595 of 
Title 18 extends the possibility of civil liability to 
defendants who violate Section 1591. However, under Section 230 
of the Communications Decency Act,\5\ online publishers of 
third-party advertisements are generally immune from civil 
liability for such advertisements.\6\ H.R. 4225 does nothing to 
disrupt or modify the civil immunity already provided by 
Section 230.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\47 U.S.C. Sec. 230.
    \6\Courts generally apply Section 230(c)(1) immunity where: (1) a 
defendant is a provider or user of an interactive computer service; (2) 
the defendant is being treated as a publisher or speaker of the 
challenged content for liability purposes; and (3) the content at issue 
is information provided by another information content provider. Courts 
have overwhelmingly found that defendants that provide access to online 
content are providers or users of an interactive computer service as 
broadly defined by section 230, and accordingly immune from civil 
liability. See Chicago Lawyers' Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. 
v. Craigslist, Inc., 519 F.3d 666, 668 (7th Cir. 2008).

                                Hearings

    The Committee on the Judiciary held no hearings on H.R. 
4225.

                        Committee Consideration

    On April 30, 2014, the Committee met in open session and 
ordered the bill H.R. 4225 favorably reported with an 
amendment, by a rollcall vote of 24 to 3, a quorum being 
present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
following rollcall votes occurred during the Committee's 
consideration of H.R. 4225.
    1. An amendment by Mr. Scott to add a provision amending 
the potential penalties for offenses in this section involving 
advertising. Defeated 8-20.

                             ROLLCALL NO. 1
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Ayes    Nays   Present
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Goodlatte (VA), Chairman...................              X
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI)....................              X
Mr. Coble (NC).................................              X
Mr. Smith (TX).................................
Mr. Chabot (OH)................................
Mr. Bachus (AL)................................              X
Mr. Issa (CA)..................................              X
Mr. Forbes (VA)................................              X
Mr. King (IA)..................................              X
Mr. Franks (AZ)................................              X
Mr. Gohmert (TX)...............................              X
Mr. Jordan (OH)................................              X
Mr. Poe (TX)...................................              X
Mr. Chaffetz (UT)..............................              X
Mr. Marino (PA)................................              X
Mr. Gowdy (SC).................................              X
Mr. Labrador (ID)..............................              X
Ms. Farenthold (TX)............................              X
Mr. Holding (NC)...............................              X
Mr. Collins (GA)...............................              X
Mr. DeSantis (FL)..............................              X
Mr. Smith (MO).................................              X
[Vacant].......................................

Mr. Conyers, Jr. (MI), Ranking Member..........      X
Mr. Nadler (NY)................................      X
Mr. Scott (VA).................................      X
Ms. Lofgren (CA)...............................      X
Ms. Jackson Lee (TX)...........................      X
Mr. Cohen (TN).................................      X
Mr. Johnson (GA)...............................      X
Mr. Pierluisi (PR).............................
Ms. Chu (CA)...................................
Mr. Deutch (FL)................................
Mr. Gutierrez (IL).............................
Ms. Bass (CA)..................................
Mr. Richmond (LA)..............................
Ms. DelBene (WA)...............................      X
Mr. Garcia (FL)................................
Mr. Jeffries (NY)..............................
Mr. Cicilline (RI).............................
                                                ------------------------
    Total......................................      8      20
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. Motion to report H.R. 4225 favorably, as amended. 
Approved 24-3.

                             ROLLCALL NO. 2
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Ayes    Nays   Present
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Goodlatte (VA), Chairman...................      X
Mr. Sensenbrenner, Jr. (WI)....................      X
Mr. Coble (NC).................................      X
Mr. Smith (TX).................................
Mr. Chabot (OH)................................
Mr. Bachus (AL)................................      X
Mr. Issa (CA)..................................      X
Mr. Forbes (VA)................................      X
Mr. King (IA)..................................      X
Mr. Franks (AZ)................................      X
Mr. Gohmert (TX)...............................      X
Mr. Jordan (OH)................................      X
Mr. Poe (TX)...................................      X
Mr. Chaffetz (UT)..............................      X
Mr. Marino (PA)................................      X
Mr. Gowdy (SC).................................      X
Mr. Labrador (ID)..............................      X
Ms. Farenthold (TX)............................      X
Mr. Holding (NC)...............................      X
Mr. Collins (GA)...............................      X
Mr. DeSantis (FL)..............................
Mr. Smith (MO).................................      X
[Vacant].......................................

Mr. Conyers, Jr. (MI), Ranking Member..........              X
Mr. Nadler (NY)................................      X
Mr. Scott (VA).................................              X
Ms. Lofgren (CA)...............................      X
Ms. Jackson Lee (TX)...........................      X
Mr. Cohen (TN).................................      X
Mr. Johnson (GA)...............................              X
Mr. Pierluisi (PR).............................
Ms. Chu (CA)...................................
Mr. Deutch (FL)................................
Mr. Gutierrez (IL).............................
Ms. Bass (CA)..................................
Mr. Richmond (LA)..............................
Ms. DelBene (WA)...............................      X
Mr. Garcia (FL)................................
Mr. Jeffries (NY)..............................
Mr. Cicilline (RI).............................
                                                ------------------------
    Total......................................     24       3
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, are incorporated in the 
descriptive portions of this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives is inapplicable because this legislation does 
not provide new budgetary authority or increased tax 
expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets forth, with 
respect to the bill, H.R. 4225, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 14, 2014.
Hon. Bob Goodlatte, Chairman,
Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 4225, the ``Stop 
Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act of 2014.''
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                      Douglas W. Elmendorf,
                                                  Director.

Enclosure

cc:
        Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
        Ranking Member




        H.R. 4225--Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation Act 
                                of 2014.

      As ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary 
                           on April 30, 2014.




    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 4225 would have no 
significant cost to the Federal Government. Enacting the bill 
could affect direct spending and revenues; therefore, pay-as-
you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any 
effects would be insignificant.
    H.R. 4225 would clarify the current laws against sex 
trafficking with regard to the advertising of such acts. As a 
result, the government might be able to increase the number of 
successful prosecutions in these cases. CBO expects that the 
bill would apply to a relatively small number of offenders, 
however, so any increase in costs for law enforcement, court 
proceedings, or prison operations would not be significant. Any 
such costs would be subject to the availability of appropriated 
funds.
    Because those prosecuted and convicted under H.R. 4225 
could be subject to criminal fines, the Federal Government 
might collect additional fines if the legislation is enacted. 
Criminal fines are recorded as revenues, deposited in the Crime 
Victims Fund, and later spent. CBO expects that any additional 
revenues and direct spending would not be significant because 
of the small number of cases likely to be affected.
    H.R. 4225 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    No provision of H.R. 4225 establishes or reauthorizes a 
program of the Federal Government known to be duplicative of 
another Federal program, a program that was included in any 
report from the Government Accountability Office to Congress 
pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program 
related to a program identified in the most recent Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance.

                  Disclosure of Directed Rule Makings

    No provision of H.R. 4225 directs a specific rule making 
within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. Sec. 551.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    The Committee states that pursuant to clause 3(c)(4) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, H.R. 
4225 clarifies that 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1591, which criminalizes the 
knowing sex trafficking of minors and others through force, 
fraud, or coercion, can be violated when a defendant advertises 
such a victim for a commercial sex act.

                          Advisory on Earmarks

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 4225 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of Rule XXI.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    The following discussion describes the bill as reported by 
the Committee.
    Section 1. Short title. This section cites the short title 
of the bill as the ``Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation 
Act of 2014.''
    Section 2. Advertising that Offers Certain Commercial Sex 
Acts. This section expands 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1591 to include the 
advertising of commercial sex acts involving a minor or an 
individual engaged in such an act through force, fraud, or 
coercion. Additionally, this section adopts a knowing standard 
for those accused of benefitting financially or otherwise from 
the sale of advertising these individuals under 18 U.S.C. 
Sec. 1591(a)(2).

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

                      TITLE 18, UNITED STATES CODE



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
PART I--CRIMES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


CHAPTER 77--PEONAGE, SLAVERY, AND TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 1591. Sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud, or coercion

    (a) Whoever knowingly--
            (1) in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, 
        or within the special maritime and territorial 
        jurisdiction of the United States, recruits, entices, 
        harbors, transports, provides, obtains, advertises, or 
        maintains by any means a person; or

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

knowing, or, except where, in an offense under paragraph (2), 
the act constituting the violation of paragraph (1) is 
advertising, in reckless disregard of the fact, that means of 
force, threats of force, fraud, coercion described in 
subsection (e)(2), or any combination of such means will be 
used to cause the person to engage in a commercial sex act, or 
that the person has not attained the age of 18 years and will 
be caused to engage in a commercial sex act, shall be punished 
as provided in subsection (b).
    (b) The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) is--
            (1) if the offense was effected by means of force, 
        threats of force, fraud, or coercion described in 
        subsection (e)(2), or by any combination of such means, 
        or if the person recruited, enticed, harbored, 
        transported, provided, [or obtained] obtained, or 
        advertised had not attained the age of 14 years at the 
        time of such offense, by a fine under this title and 
        imprisonment for any term of years not less than 15 or 
        for life; or
            (2) if the offense was not so effected, and the 
        person recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, 
        provided, [or obtained] obtained, or advertised had 
        attained the age of 14 years but had not attained the 
        age of 18 years at the time of such offense, by a fine 
        under this title and imprisonment for not less than 10 
        years or for life.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            Dissenting Views

                              INTRODUCTION

    H.R. 4225, the ``Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation 
Act of 2014,'' amends the Federal sex trafficking statute\1\ to 
prohibit the advertising of certain commercial sex acts. We 
agree with the bill's laudable goal of prosecuting those who 
facilitate sex trafficking, but disagree with its mandatory 
minimum sentencing provisions because of the serious public 
policy concerns it presents. While the acts prohibited by the 
legislation will often warrant long sentences, mandatory 
minimum sentences are the wrong way to determine the punishment 
under this or any other criminal statute. Specifically, 
mandatory minimum sentencing distorts rational sentencing, 
wastes taxpayer money, and even when applied to serious 
offenses, often leads to sentences that are not appropriate 
under the facts of particular cases.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\18 U.S.C. Sec. 1591 (2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No matter how well-intentioned H.R. 4225 may be, we do not 
believe these significant public policy concerns can be 
disregarded. An amendment rejected during the markup would have 
ameliorated our concerns by clarifying that mandatory minimum 
sentences would not apply to the new offense, while still 
providing that offenders could be punished under the maximum 
penalty. Unfortunately, without this important change, we 
remain unable to support this legislation and accordingly we 
dissent from the Committee views on this legislation.

                       DESCRIPTION AND BACKGROUND

    H.R. 4225 is primarily intended to prevent the advertising 
of acts of commercial sex trafficking using the Internet. The 
bill amends section 1591 of title 18 of the United States Code, 
which deals with the Federal crime of sex trafficking, to 
include advertising of certain commercial sex acts as a 
punishable offense. Section 1591 currently prohibits actions 
such as recruiting, enticing, harboring, transporting, and 
providing victims or benefitting financially from commercial 
sex acts involving minors, or adults who are forced or coerced 
into participating in the acts. H.R. 4225 amends section 1591 
to include advertising in its penalty provisions, which impose 
mandatory minimum sentences of ten or 15 years, depending on 
the circumstances of the crime.
    An amendment agreed to in the markup clarified that the 
mens rea standard for the newly-created offense of advertising 
would require that the offender must have acted ``knowingly'' 
with respect to whether the victim was a minor or, if an adult, 
the adult's participation in the acts were forced or coerced. 
For other offenses under the statute, one may be punished for 
acting ``knowingly'' or ``in reckless disregard'' of these 
facts related to the victim.

                        CONCERNS WITH H.R. 4225

    By adding advertising to the list of prohibited conduct 
related to sex trafficking, H.R. 4225 may subject a range of 
communications providers and facilitators to mandatory minimum 
sentences. Regardless of the nature and circumstances 
surrounding the offense, the role of the offender in the 
particular crime, and the history and characteristics of the 
offender, H.R. 4225 would require a judge to impose a 10- or 
15-year sentence. Even if everyone involved in a case, from the 
arresting officer, prosecutor, judge, and victim, believes that 
the mandatory minimum would be an unjust sentence for a 
particular defendant in a case, H.R. 4225 would require that it 
must be imposed.
    The imposition of a mandatory minimum sentence of ten or 15 
years is particularly troublesome when one considers the 
possible scope of defendants who could be prosecuted under H.R. 
4225. Notably, the prohibition on advertising does not 
explicitly apply only to a sex trafficker who places an ad, and 
could conceivably be applied to individuals and entities who 
facilitate, but have a minor role in, publishing the ad. Those 
who are employed by a venture that benefits financially from 
the ad, but whose role in the organization does not place them 
in the chain of decisionmaking with respect to acceptance or 
publishing of illegal ads could also be prosecuted under the 
bill.\2\ As some Members discussed at the markup of the bill, 
there may be circumstances in which all of the employees of a 
communications company, including receptionists and maintenance 
workers, know that the venture publishes such advertisements 
but look the other way, and could be held liable under these 
provisions but whose culpability would certainly not warrant a 
mandatory minimum sentence of 10 or 15 years.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\18 U.S.C. Sec. 1591(a)(2) (2014) subjects to liability ``whoever 
knowingly--(2) benefits, financially or by receiving anything of value, 
from participation in a venture which has engaged in an act described 
in violation of paragraph (1).''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mandatory minimum sentences are the wrong way to determine 
punishment under the Federal sex trafficking statute, or any 
other statute. Mandatory minimums not only lead to unjust 
outcomes for individuals, but also have serious systemic 
consequences by contributing to the problem of 
overincarceration. As of September 2010, 75,579 Federal 
prisoners-- more than one-third (39.4%)--were serving mandatory 
minimum sentences.\3\ This represents a 155% increase from the 
number of Federal prisoners serving mandatory minimum sentences 
in 1995 (29,603).\4\ Since Congress enacted harsh mandatory 
minimums in the 1980s, the Federal prison population has 
exploded by over 800% to more than 216,000 inmates today.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\United States Sentencing Commission, Report to Congress: 
Mandatory Minimum Penalties in the Federal Criminal System, at 148 
(Oct. 2011), available at http://www.ussc.gov/sites/
default/files/pdf/news/congressional-testimony-and-reports/mandatory-
minimum-penalties/201110
31-rtc-pdf/Chapter_07.pdf.
    \4\Id. at 81, available at http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/
pdf/news/congressional-testimony-and-reports/mandatory-minimum-
penalties/20111031-rtc-pdf/Chapter_04.pdf.
    \5\Bureau of Prisons, Historical Information, at http://
www.bop.gov/about/history/ and Inmate Statistics: Offenses, at http://
www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_offenses.jsp.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition, higher than warranted sentences resulting from 
mandatory minimum sentencing strain public finances. For 
example, the average cost of incarceration for a Federal inmate 
in fiscal year 2011 was $28,893.40.\6\ In fact, the U.S. 
Department of Justice has referred to the increased year-to-
year spending on Federal prisons as ``unsustainable'' and a 
threat to public safety.\7\ For fiscal year 2014, close to a 
third (28.8%) of the Justice Department's $27.7 billion budget 
is earmarked for Federal prisons and detention.\8\ Every dollar 
expended on lengthy mandatory minimum incarcerations is a 
dollar that cannot be spent on crime prevention, victim 
services, training, investigation, and prosecution.\9\ Absent 
smarter sentencing policies and reformation of mandatory 
minimum sentences, prison populations and their associated 
costs will continue to escalate.\10\ We need to take steps to 
ensure that sentences are appropriately severe, but are not set 
beyond levels that no longer serve legitimate criminal justice 
purposes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Bureau of Prisons, Annual Determination of Average Cost of 
Incarceration, 78 Fed. Reg. No. 52 at 16711 (Mar. 18, 2013), available 
at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-18/pdf/2013-06139.pdf.
    \7\Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General, Top Management and 
Performance Challenges Facing the Dep't of Justice--2013, at http://
www.justice.gov/oig/challenges/2013.htm.
    \8\U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Summary: Fiscal Year 
2014 Omnibus Appropriations Bill 5-7 (Jan. 13, 2014), at http://
www.appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?meth
od=news.view&id=5aa8e660-f52e-4074-945f-9618eb963ae9.
    \9\Id.
    \10\Horowitz, supra n.7.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is one reason why the Committee's bipartisan Over-
Criminialization Task Force was authorized in 2013 to ``assess 
our current Federal criminal statutes and make recommendations 
for improvements.''\11\ While the Task Force considers a range 
of issues related to the criminal justice system, including the 
penalties in the Federal criminal code, we should not, as this 
bill would do, expand mandatory minimum sentencing at a time 
when reform is necessary.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, 
Press Release, Feb. 5, 2014, available at http://judiciary.house.gov/
index.cfm/2014/2/house-judiciary-committee-reauthorizes-bipartisan-
over-criminalization-task-force.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    An amendment offered by Representative Robert C. ``Bobby'' 
Scott (D-VA) that would have addressed these significant 
concens was defeated by a vote of 8 to 20 during the markup. 
The amendment would have removed application of the statute's 
mandatory minimum prison sentences to advertising and instead 
allow a judge to apply an appropriate sentence under the 
circumstances of the case up to the statutory maximum of life 
in prison. Given the complicated nature of internet 
communications networks and other forms of advertising, which 
would be affected by this bill, the role of the judge in 
evaluating each case is particularly important. While long 
sentences may be appropriate under the facts of a particular 
case, Congress cannot know the facts of every case in advance. 
Removing mandatory minimums while still permitting the lengthy 
statutory maximum penalty of life imprisonment, as 
Representative Scott's amendment would have done, would provide 
the appropriate spectrum of sentences for culpability and 
proportionate punishment.

                               CONCLUSION

    We must do more to combat sex trafficking by taking steps 
such as strengthening our laws and providing additional 
resources for law enforcement and victim services. In our haste 
to combat this tragic crime, however, we must also consider the 
public policy implications of our legislative actions. 
Unfortunately, the mandatory minimum penalties provided in H.R. 
4225 would make it an inflexible and often inappropriate means 
of addressing the range of those who could be prosecuted under 
the statute.
    For the foregoing reasons, we must respectfully dissent.

                                   John Conyers, Jr.
                                   Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott.
                                   Henry C. ``Hank'' Johnson, Jr.