HELP FIND THE MISSING ACT – Billy’s Law

LostNMissing Inc. is a Sponsor of the “HELP FIND THE MISSING ACT-Billy’s Law”

BILLYSLAW

 

 

WE NEED YOUR HELP….please read very carefully.  YOU COULD BE THE PERSON that helps bring this to fruition.  A Federal bill is being re-introduced: This bill will make LAWS and CHANGES to how a missing person case is managed across all States so that ALL police departments and states will be joined together through various means to enable families to have immediate attention, for the missing to be in databases that will “speak to each other” across state lines and with improvements of how the system is working presently. 

November 2013:  The Help Find the Missing Act aka Billy’s Law is soon to be reintroduced, we need your help now getting Senate and House (Congressmen) Sponsors and Co-Sponsors.  To make this bill totally bipartisan at the moment we need a Republican Senator to sponsor the bill’s reintroduction with Senator Chris Murphy, (D), of Connecticut.   This bill sees no political parties, our missing and unidentified persons and their families do not need one political side to support this, we need everyone working together, all parties, all families, all advocates, everyone together will get this made law and help end a very broken system! Help us strengthen NamUs.

Here is how you can help:

US REPUBLICAN SENATORS:   Please check the list for your Republican Senator. Please contact them and ask them to SUPPORT and SPONSOR this bill. Please have them contact Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut.  (See below for your list of US Senators)

Informative Video by Senator Chris Murphy from when

Billy’s Law was first introduced to the House

 


Law enforcement has only had to report to the NCIC. The NCIC is an antiquated database that was made for criminals not the missing or unidentified persons. We now have the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs.gov) that is the only repository in the US that houses both the unidentified persons and the missing persons but there is no mandate yet to use it. We count everything else in this country but our missing and our unidentified persons, how wrong is that? ” …Maureen Reintjes, Founder .Peace for Missing and Unidentified Persons   (Comprehensive site on Billy’s Law, to learn more,  please register at : http://missing.ning.com

 

Public can search NamUs website for missing loved ones

Cold cases, missing persons among thousands listed

NAMUS still 04NAMUS still 01NAMUS still 03NAMUS still 04

NamUs.gov is more than an acronym. It describes the mission of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System based at the University of North Texas Health Science Center since 2011.

Spokesperson Todd Matthews said NamUs is the first government database that can help the public search for their missing loved ones at no cost.

He said except for biological information, families have much of the same access shared by law enforcement agencies and medical examiners around the country.

Matthews said as a result, hundreds of cases have been solved.

“They’re DNA hits. They’re dental identifications, fingerprint identifications. It’s just across the board,” Matthews said.

He also said families can check separate databases for the missing and unclaimed remains, as well as enter their case within NamUs, provide additional information or learn how to submit their own DNA for a possible match.

“I think it gives the family more of a feeling of empowerment. They have something to do other than just walk the floors and worry,” Matthews said.

He also said that before NamUs came along, “Law enforcement were not talking to one another well enough.”

Yet now, thanks to the internet, Matthews said they can narrow down possible leads by cross-matching  the missing and the unidentified.

He said for instance, “Six people could be a match to one unidentified body or vice versa. Then, it’s a process of elimination.”

Just down the hall from NamUs, there is the UNT Center for Human Identification, one of the nation’s top forensic labs. Both are supported by the National Institute of Justice.

“The two biggest are really ourselves and the FBI that offer these type of services around the country,” said Dr. Arthur Eisenberg, the center director.

He said more than half of the cold cases they handle involve homicide victims.

“It’s almost impossible to start a murder investigation if you don’t who the victim is,” Eisenberg said.

Dixie Peters, a technical leader in the center’s missing persons unit, said her team begins by extracting DNA from bones during “cut day.”

Peters said a powerful saw carves out a portion of bone that is then pulverized.

However, that DNA is only part of the equation.

“We can develop all the profiles that we want from skeletal remains, but if we don’t have the right family members, then sometimes we’re not able to make those comparisons,” Peters said.

Eisenberg said of the approximately 5,100 remains examined, 1,150 have been identified.

He also said the center has processed 14,000 reference samples from 8,000 cases using DNA technology.

“The best we can do is provide families with answers,” Eisenberg said. “The majority of time those answers are not what they want to hear, but at least they know.”

Previous Bill:

2010 H.R.3695 – Billy’s Law

To authorize funding for, and increase accessibility to, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, to facilitate data sharing between such system and the National Crime Information Center database of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to provide incentive grants to help facilitate reporting to such systems, and for other purposes. view

Sponsor

Senator Christopher Murphy D-CT

Summary of The Help Find The Missing Act (Billy’s Law)

The Help Find the Missing Act (Billy’s Law)
Congressman Chris Murphy (CT-5)

Filling in the Gaps of the Nation’s Missing Persons Systems
Endorsed By: National Forensic Science Technology Center, National Forensics Center, Doe
Network, Center for Hope and LostNMissing, Inc.

Every year tens of thousands of Americans go missing, never to be seen by their loved ones
again. At the same time, there are also an estimated 40,000 sets of unidentified human remains
that are being held or disposed of across the country. Sadly, because of gaps in the nation’s
missing persons systems, missing persons and unidentified remains are rarely matched. Help
Find the Missing Act is an effort to fix these problems and bring closure to the loved ones of the
missing.

This legislation is named after Billy Smolinski of Waterbury, Connecticut who went missing on
August 24, 2004 at the age of 31. Billy’s family knows all-too-well the systemic challenges in
trying to find the missing. They quickly learned that while federal law mandates law
enforcement report missing children, there are no such requirements for adults – or unidentified
bodies. Compounding this problem is the fact that local law enforcement agencies, medical
examiners, and coroners, often don’t have the resources or training to voluntarily report these
cases. Finally, even when missing adults and remains are reported, the wide-range of
unconnected federal, state, local, and non-profit databases to help match the missing with
unidentified bodies, makes finding a match an often insurmountable challenge.

Billy’s Law builds upon recent efforts to address these issues by:

1.Authorizing, and therefore helping to ensure funding for, the National Missing Persons
and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), which was created in July 2007 by the
Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide a missing persons/unidentified database that the
public could access and contribute ;

2.Connecting NamUs with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in order
to create more comprehensive missing persons and unidentified remains databases and
streamlining the reporting process for local law enforcement;

3.Creating an incentive grants program to help states, local law enforcement and medical
examiners/coroners report missing persons and unidentified remains to NCIC, NamUs,
and the National DNA Index System (NDIS); and

4.Calling on the DOJ to issue guidelines and best practices on handling missing persons
and unidentified remains cases in order to empower law enforcement, medical examiners
and coroners to help find the missing.

Linda Forman
Legislative Assistant
Office of Congressman Chris Murphy (CT-05)
412 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
202.225.4476 (p)
202.225.5933 (f)

 

 

 

Schumer Announces Support For “Billy’s Law”

By WKBW News

April 25, 2011 Updated Apr 25, 2011 at 1:57 PM ESTWASHINGTON, DC ( release ) Monday, United States Senator Charles E. Schumer announced his support for legislation called “Billy’s Law,” also known as Help Find the Missing Act, to close loopholes in our national missing persons systems. Schumer has sponsored this legislation in the past, and his co-sponsorship this Congress comes in the wake of the recent death of George Delaney, a Rochester Institute of Technology student. When George Delany went missing on March 12th, RIT faculty and students joined with law enforcement and the community to search for him.

This week they wrote to Senator Schumer in support of Billy’s Law, after experiencing firsthand the gaps in our national missing person response system. Schumer states that the enactment of Billy’s Law will provide law enforcement officials with the tools and resources it needs to better conduct the search for missing adults.

“George Delany’s death is a tragedy for Rochester and all of New York,” said Schumer. “And, what is even more difficult to believe are the loopholes in our national missing persons system. Just as we provide law enforcement with tools like the Amber alert and access to missing person databases when children are missing, we should not tolerate delays and lapses in information when people over the age of 18, like George Delany, are missing. Billy’s Law would provide the critical tools and alerts to law enforcement officials that are essential in the search of missing adults. What’s more, Billy’s Law seeks to bring our national missing persons databases into the 21st century, creating a central resource for officials and families that are so desperately trying to locate their loved ones.”

RIT professor Paloma Capanna, along with a dozen RIT students who were personally involved in the search for George wrote to Senator Schumer in support of this legislation stating, “Our support for this [legislation] comes from our personal experience with our classmate and friend, George Delany. At least two college students go missing every week. And, nationwide, more than 20,000 persons are reported missing each year. The federal government should intervene to ensure that any barriers to participation in and access to all available databases are eliminated, including supplements for any fees that may be prohibitive within county budgets.”

Billy’s Law would authorize the National Missing Persons and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), which was created in July 2007 by the Department of Justice (DOJ), to provide a missing persons/unidentified database that the public could access and contribute to. The law would connect NamUs with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) in order to create more comprehensive missing persons and unidentified remains databases and streamlining the reporting process for local law enforcement. Billy’s Law would expand current law by requiring missing children be reported to NamUs in addition to NCIC, and would create a grant program to help states, local law enforcement and medical examiners report missing persons and unidentified remains to NCIC, NamUs, and the National DNA Index System (NDIS). And, finally Billy’s Law requires the DOJ issue guidelines and best practices on handling missing persons and unidentified remains cases in order to empower law enforcement, medical examiners and coroners to help find the missing.

Billy’s Law is named after Billy Smolinski of Waterbury, Connecticut who went missing on August 24, 2004 at the age of 31. Billy’s family quickly learned that while federal law mandates law enforcement report missing children, there are no such requirements for adults – or unidentified bodies. Compounding this problem is the fact that local law enforcement agencies, medical examiners, and coroners, often don’t have the resources or training to voluntarily report these cases. Finally, even when missing adults and remains are reported, the wide-range of unconnected federal, state, local, and non-profit databases to help match the missing with unidentified bodies, makes finding a match an often insurmountable challenge.

Senator Schumer has supported this legislation in the last Congress. Additionally, the bill has been endorsed by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Fraternal Order of Police, National Association of Police Organizations, Connecticut Department of Public Safety, National Forensic Science Technology Center, National Center for Forensic Science, Doe Missing Persons Network, Center for Hope, Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons, Inc., LostNMissing Inc., Project EDAN, CUE Center for the Missing Persons, Surviving Parents Coalition, and the National Association of Medical Examiners.

Schumer’s support of the legislation also comes two years after Brittanee Drexel, of Gates Chili, went missing on April 25, 2009 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. In the two years since Brittanee went missing, there have not been any major discoveries in the case. Billy’s Law would also strengthen the current law for missing children, as it would require children to be reported to National Missing Persons and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), in addition to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center.

In conjunction with George Delany’s recent death, Senator Schumer states that this legislation is more important than ever. He argues that if Billy’s Law were enacted, it could have provided law enforcement with stronger tools in adult missing person searches like the one for George Delany. Billy’s Law is crucial, as it will close loopholes in the National Missing Persons System, provide training and resources to law enforcement, and connect the numerous missing person databases into a fully functioning database.

 

2/23/2010–Passed House amended. (This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on February 22, 2010. The summary of that version is repeated here.) Help Find the Missing Act or Billy’s Law – (Sec. 2) Authorizes the Attorney General to maintain public databases,

Official Summary

2/23/2010–Passed House amended. (This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on February 22, 2010. The summary of that version is repeated here.) Help Find the Missing Act or Billy’s Law –

(Sec. 2)

Authorizes the Attorney General to maintain public databases, known as the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System or NamUs, to contain missing persons records and unidentified remains cases to assist in identifying missing people and solving cases of unidentified human remains. Transfers to NamUs all functions, personnel, assets, liabilities, and administrative actions carried out by the National Institute of Justice that are applicable to NamUs. Authorizes appropriations for FY2011-FY2016.

(Sec. 3)

Directs the Attorney General to:
(1) share information on missing persons and unidentified human remains contained in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database with the NamUs databases;
(2) promulgate rules to provide for the protection of law enforcement sensitive, confidential, and private information contained in the NCIC database; and
(3) update the online data entry format for the NCIC database and NamUs databases to facilitate the entry of new information into such databases. Amends the Crime Control Act of 1990 to require that reports of missing children (individuals under the age of 21) submitted to the NCIC database are also submitted to NamUs.

(Sec. 4)

Directs the Attorney General to establish a grant program to assist state law enforcement agencies, offices of coroners, offices of medical examiners, and other authorized agencies in reporting information on missing persons and unidentified remains to the NCIC and NamUs databases for the purpose of locating such missing persons and identifying such remains. Imposes requirements on grantees for reporting missing persons records and unidentified remains cases to the databases and for submitting certain types of information, including DNA samples, dental records, and finger prints. Allows the use of grant funds for hiring and training additional personnel, outsourcing, and facilitating the transfer of data from NCIC to NamUs databases. Authorizes appropriations for FY2011-FY2015.

(Sec. 5)

Requires the Attorney General to issue a report within one year after the enactment of this Act to the offices of medical examiners, offices of coroners, and federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies describing the best practices for the collection, reporting, and analysis of data and information on missing persons and unidentified human remains.

(Sec. 6)

Requires the Attorney General to submit a report within one year after the enactment of this Act and biennially thereafter, to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, describing the status of the NCIC database and the NamUs databases.

All Bill Titles

  • Official: To authorize funding for, and increase accessibility to, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, to facilitate data sharing between such system and the National Crime Information Center database of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to provide incentive grants to help facilitate reporting to such systems, and for other purposes. as introduced.
  • Short: Billy’s Law as introduced.
  • Short: Help Find the Missing Act as introduced.
  • Short: Billy’s Law as reported to house.
  • Short: Help Find the Missing Act as reported to house.
  • Short: Billy’s Law as passed house.
  • Short: Help Find the Missing Act as passed house.

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(R – TN) Class II
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4944
Contact: www.alexander.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Email
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Ayotte, Kelly – (R – NH) Class III
144 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3324
Contact: www.ayotte.Senate.gov/?p=contact
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Barrasso, John – (R – WY) Class I
307 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6441
Contact: www.barrasso.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Conta…
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Blunt, Roy – (R – MO) Class III
260 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5721
Contact: www.blunt.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form?p=cont…
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Boozman, John – (R – AR) Class III
320 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4843
Contact: www.boozman.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me
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Burr, Richard – (R – NC) Class III
217 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3154
Contact: www.burr.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.C…
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Chambliss, Saxby – (R – GA) Class II
416 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3521
Contact: www.chambliss.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Email
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Coats, Daniel – (R – IN) Class III
493 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5623
Contact: www.coats.Senate.gov/contact/
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Coburn, Tom – (R – OK) Class III
172 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5754
Contact: www.coburn.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactsenatorcobu…
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Cochran, Thad – (R – MS) Class II
113 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5054
Contact: www.cochran.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me
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Collins, Susan M. – (R – ME) Class II
413 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2523
Contact: www.collins.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email
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Corker, Bob – (R – TN) Class I
425 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3344
Contact: www.corker.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactMe
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Cornyn, John – (R – TX) Class II
517 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2934
Contact: www.cornyn.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm
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Crapo, Mike – (R – ID) Class III
239 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6142
Contact: www.crapo.Senate.gov/contact/email.cfm
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Cruz, Ted – (R – TX) Class I
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5922
Contact: www.cruz.Senate.gov/contact.cfm
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Enzi, Michael B. – (R – WY) Class II
379A Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3424
Contact: www.enzi.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact?p=e-mail-sen…
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Fischer, Deb – (R – NE) Class I
383 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6551
Contact: www.fischer.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
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Flake, Jeff – (R – AZ) Class I
368 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4521
Contact: www.flake.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-jeff
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Graham, Lindsey – (R – SC) Class II
290 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5972
Contact: lgraham.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.La…
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Grassley, Chuck – (R – IA) Class III
135 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3744
Contact: www.grassley.Senate.gov/contact/contact.cfm
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Hatch, Orrin G. – (R – UT) Class I
104 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5251
Contact: www.hatch.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact?p=Email-Orrin
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Heller, Dean – (R – NV) Class I
324 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6244
Contact: www.heller.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form
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Hoeven, John – (R – ND) Class III
338 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2551
Contact: www.hoeven.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-the-senator
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Inhofe, James M. – (R – OK) Class II
205 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4721
Contact: www.inhofe.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact…
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Isakson, Johnny – (R – GA) Class III
131 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3643
Contact: www.isakson.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me
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Johanns, Mike – (R – NE) Class II
404 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4224
Contact: www.johanns.Senate.gov/public/?p=ContactSenatorJohanns
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Johnson, Ron – (R – WI) Class III
328 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5323
Contact: www.ronjohnson.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
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Kirk, Mark – (R – IL) Class III
524 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2854
Contact: www.kirk.Senate.gov/?p=contact
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Lee, Mike – (R – UT) Class III
316 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5444
Contact: www.lee.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
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McCain, John – (R – AZ) Class III
241 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2235
Contact: www.mccain.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form
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McConnell, Mitch – (R – KY) Class II
317 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2541
Contact: www.mcconnell.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=contact
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Moran, Jerry – (R – KS) Class III
361A Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6521
Contact: moran.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-jerry
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Murkowski, Lisa – (R – AK) Class III
709 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6665
Contact: www.murkowski.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Contact
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Paul, Rand – (R – KY) Class III
124 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4343
Contact: www.paul.Senate.gov/?p=contact
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Portman, Rob – (R – OH) Class III
448 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3353
Contact: www.portman.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact?p=contact…
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Risch, James E. – (R – ID) Class II
483 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2752
Contact: www.risch.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Email
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Roberts, Pat – (R – KS) Class II
109 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4774
Contact: www.roberts.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=EmailPat
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Rubio, Marco – (R – FL) Class III
284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3041
Contact: www.rubio.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
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Scott, Tim – (R – SC) Class III
167 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6121
Contact: www.scott.Senate.gov/contact/email-me
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Sessions, Jeff – (R – AL) Class II
326 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4124
Contact: www.sessions.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Const…
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Shelby, Richard C. – (R – AL) Class III
304 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5744
Contact: www.shelby.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/emailsenatorshelby
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Thune, John – (R – SD) Class III
511 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2321
Contact: www.thune.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact
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Toomey, Patrick J. – (R – PA) Class III
248 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4254
Contact: www.toomey.Senate.gov/?p=contact
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Vitter, David – (R – LA) Class III
516 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4623
Contact: www.vitter.Senate.gov/contact
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Wicker, Roger F. – (R – MS) Class I
555 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6253
Contact: www.wicker.Senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

 

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