Children and Families
Senator Toomey believes that all children are precious and deserve protection.
Protecting Our Children from Abuse and Exploitation
Senator Toomey has worked to keep our children safe from abuse and sexual exploitation.
Every year, hundreds of teachers and school workers across America are arrested for sexual misconduct with children, including many in Pennsylvania. To keep these predators out of America's classrooms, Senator Toomey introduced the Protecting Students from Sexual and Violent Predators Act. The bipartisan bill requires any state education agency receiving federal funds to perform background checks on all employees and contractors-both new hires and existing workers-who have access to children. Under the bill, a school may not hire a person if he or she has committed certain crimes, including any violent or sexual crime against a child. The legislation, which the House of Representatives passed unanimously and currently awaits action in the Senate, also bans the horrifying practice of a school letting a child predator quietly resign and move along to a new school.
Senator Toomey understands that when a child is victimized, it is imperative to get the predator off of the streets and to ensure the child receives the best medical and emotional care possible.
That is why Senator Toomey introduced a proposal to increase funding for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which tracks down child pornographers and human traffickers on the Internet and brings them to justice. Senator Toomey's measure would also increase funding for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which works with law enforcement to find missing and exploited kids and provide them with the help they need.
Also, Senator Toomey is a co-sponsor of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which increases prison terms and penalties for those who exploit and traffic children, and increases funding for groups that provide services to child victims.
Senator Toomey also has introduced a proposal to reform the Crime Victims Fund, which uses the fines the federal government collects from criminals and gives the money to organizations for crime victims. Every year, Congress takes hundreds of millions of dollars that rightfully belong to abused children, domestic-violence survivors, and other crime victims, and uses it as an accounting gimmick to spend more money elsewhere. Senator Toomey believes Congress must stop this practice and return the money to where it belongs-to victims.
Additionally, Senator Toomey has worked to ensure that victims of child pornography are able to obtain full restitution from all wrongdoers by introducing the Justice for Amy Act.
Welcoming All Children Into the World
Senator Toomey is pro-life and believes that all children should be welcomed into the world and protected by its laws.
While reasonable people may differ on the question of abortion rights, we should all be able to agree on policies that encourage adoption over abortion, that avoid taxpayer funding of abortions, and that allow more parental involvement in decisions that involve minors. Senator Toomey supports policies that further these important goals, including the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (S. 946), of which he is a co-sponsor.
Senator Toomey believes that the family is the basic building block for society.
Senator Toomey understands the challenges that face many families today, especially working mothers. This is why he is a co-sponsor of the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013, which gives women more flexibility in the workplace. The bill provides employees an additional option for choosing how to be compensated for overtime work. An employee may choose overtime pay-which is currently the only option allowed under law. Under the bill, an employee could instead choose to receive extra vacation time.
He also introduced an amendment to the FY 2014 budget resolution to repeal Obamacare's harmful restrictions on medical expense deductions. This deduction allowed families and seniors who care for someone with a severe illness to deduct medical costs that exceed 7.5 percent of that family's income. Obamacare raised this threshold, making it harder for families to deduct nursing home bills, payments for prescription drugs and hospital fees.
Senator Toomey understands that the definition of marriage is a difficult issue, and there are strong arguments made by each side. The debate over defining marriage also cuts to the heart of people's religious, social and moral views, and therefore it can be a very personal issue for many Americans. Senator Toomey supports the traditional definition of marriage.
At the same time, Senator Toomey believes that people should be judged on their merits, not based on their race, gender, religion, or sexuality. That is why, in 1996, Senator Toomey supported an Allentown ordinance that forbade the city from discriminating against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation. More recently, Senator Toomey voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which forbids workplace discrimination against persons based on their sexual orientation. And, in 2010, Senator Toomey called for an end to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," so all persons could serve openly in the U.S. Military, regardless of their sexual orientation.