WASHINGTON—Last May, the House passed H.R. 1973, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act, legislation introduced by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) in response to reports of abuse in amateur athletics, including in the U.S. gymnastics program. Later in the year, the Senate passed similar legislation introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and John Thune (R-SD). Today, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the following statement after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced that the House will vote next week on a final bill that reforms the way athletic governing bodies are required to prevent and deal with allegations of sexual abuse.
“We have all been inspired by the courage of the American athletes coming forward to tell their stories. The crimes committed against these young women are atrocious and rattle us all to the core. The fact that it went unreported to law enforcement is intolerable—and it’s a huge wake-up call. That’s why Congress has taken action to defend young victims and ensure the criminals are held accountable. The legislation that the House will take up next week makes major reforms to our nation’s amateur athletic governing bodies—including mandatory training, required reporting, and a reformed system to deal with allegations of sexual abuse. Our children must be protected from the heinous crime of sexual abuse."