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H.R. 1761 (115th): Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017

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About the bill

More than half of teens have sent sexually explicit images or “sexted” before age 18–54 percent to be exact, according to researchers at Drexel University. But they should be treated as sex offenders? Many worry that a bill which recently passed the House could do just that.

Context and what the bill does

The Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act, labelled H.R. 1761 in the House, would close a loophole in federal child pornography laws. It would eliminate the requirement that a defendant had “specific intent” to create or distribute child pornography. This stems from a controversial 2015 court decision when a 19-year-old male was able to escape prosecution after having sex with a 7-year-old female neighbor, due to a loophole.

After a photo of the sex act was …

Sponsor and status

Mike Johnson

Sponsor. Representative for Louisiana's 4th congressional district. Republican.

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Last Updated: Jun 5, 2017
Length: 6 pages
Mar 28, 2017
115th Congress (2017–2019)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on May 25, 2017 but was never passed by the Senate.

Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. It is common for legislative text to be introduced concurrently in multiple bills (called companion bills), re-introduced in subsequent sessions of Congress in new bills, or added to larger bills (sometimes called omnibus bills).


6 Cosponsors (6 Republicans)


Position statements

What stakeholders are saying

Prostasia Foundation The Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act (H.R. 1761) would do the opposite of what its name suggests—it would directly harm young people by subjecting them to 15 year mandatory minimum prison terms, along with sex offender registration, for the developmentally normal …
Prostasia Foundation


Mar 28, 2017

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

May 3, 2017
Ordered Reported

A committee has voted to issue a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.

May 22, 2017
Reported by House Committee on the Judiciary

A committee issued a report on the bill, which often provides helpful explanatory background on the issue addressed by the bill and the bill's intentions.

May 25, 2017
Passed House (Senate next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the House. It goes to the Senate next.

H.R. 1761 (115th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 1761. This is the one from the 115th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2017 to Jan 3, 2019. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 1761 — 115th Congress: Protecting Against Child Exploitation Act of 2017.” 2017. December 4, 2021 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.