Who Blocked a Congressional Bill to Protect Kids?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 2, 2006, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Factor "Follow-Up" segment tonight. As we told you last week, a proposed federal law, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act is being held up in the Senate by Ted Kennedy, who wants to attach a hate crimes law to it which is opposed by some. Now I believe the new law which would give local police information about people who hurt children should stand alone.

Joining us now from Washington, Congressman Mark Foley, the co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus. You know, you did this, you pin heads, you guys did this in the House as well. Look, we need to have a central registry. You know it. I know it. Everybody in the country but Ted Kennedy seems to know it. There are 37 senators attached to this bill. All right. So that local law enforcement can know if predators are in their area. But you throw the hate crime stuff in with this. Why?

REP. MARK FOLEY, R-FLA.: Well, hate crimes is an important bill. But there is no question it needs to be removed from this debate. Our kids are precious. Their lives are vulnerable. The predators are winning as we speak because there is no mechanism on the books. I support the hate crimes legislation. Senator Kennedy's attempting to use our child safety bill as a bargaining chip for a vote on his bill. He's had ample time to convince his colleagues to get that done. Absent any agreement over the next 24 hours, I'm urging Senator Kennedy and Senator Reid to drop the hate crimes provision from this negotiation and let Senator Frist move this bill to the floor.

O'REILLY: All right. Say they —

FOLEY: It is time for action. We've been debating this for two years. Both are good pieces of legislation.

O'REILLY: Two years?

FOLEY: It's now come to the time where they have to be decoupled and allow our more important bill to move immediately to the in floor.

O'REILLY: Now two years. How many kids have got raped and murdered in two years because we haven't had this. I mean it's got to be in the thousands. So I'm with you.

FOLEY: It's unacceptable.

O'REILLY: I'm with you.

FOLEY: Carlie Brucia, I can go down the names. The roll call is ugly.

O'REILLY: What happens Congressman, if Kennedy and Reid, two powerful Democratic senators, will not drop the hate crimes thing and will not allow a vote in the Senate? What happens then?

FOLEY: Well, I think the public protestations — and they're both good and honorable men. I'm not going to cast aspersions. They have a negotiated strategy they're pursuing. But I think your callers and listeners, with the help of the national center and John Walsh, are getting the message that it's time to quit playing politics. So we just pray as a result of your constant focus that we will get them to say I've done all I can. It is now time to accept political reality. Separate these bills and let's move this urgent piece of legislation forward. I'll agree with Senator Kennedy that I'll work tirelessly to work on hate crimes. Gordon Smith, a Republican, has pledged to do the same. Two separate conversations.

O'REILLY: We'll look at it here, too. If it's a good bill, we'll get behind it. So I want everyone to know Congressman, you can go to billoreilly.com and we'll link you up with Kennedy, his office. So everybody watching, millions of people around the world watching right now. If you go to billoreilly.com, we'll link you up. You can get it in. Because I agree with you. It's got to be the folks that put the pressure on the senator from Massachusetts to knock it off. Reid told us on the phone, if Kennedy gives it up, he'll give it up and then we'll pass this bill in the next couple of weeks.

FOLEY: They can't play the Texas two-step. They've got to do their job.

O'REILLY: They've got to do it and if they don't do it, every day we're going to say Senator Kennedy won't protect the kids. That's what we're going to do. All right. Thanks for coming on Congressman.

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