Bob Menendez voted to punish child porn offenders

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Bob Menendez

Sen. Robert Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat under fire for reportedly traveling to the Dominican Republic to engage in sex with prostitutes, possibly minors, voted to increase funding for the Adam Walsh law that punishes sex offenders involved in child exploitation and pornography cases.

The senator, who is taking over the chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from President Obama's new secretary of state, Sen. John Kerry, was one of 93 who in 2007 voted to look out for kids targeted by sex offenders.

The March 2007 vote is being highlighted by supporters to back up Menendez's denials of the reports in the Daily Caller, and critics who said it shows political hypocrisy.

According to the Senate website, the vote was "to provide additional funding for certain programs under the Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act of 2006, by increasing funding for the United States Marshals Service to track down convicted sex offenders who have failed to register as a sex offender as required by law and by increasing funding for United States attorneys to prosecute child exploitation and child pornography cases as part of Project Safe Childhood." It passed 93-0.

Menendez has denied any wrongdoing, and issued a statement saying that he reimbursed a Florida donor $58,500 in recent months for the cost of two trips to the Dominican Republic where the Daily Caller alleges he had sex with prostitutes.

The statement said, "Any allegations of engaging with prostitutes are manufactured by a politically motivated right-wing blog and are false."