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"Overcriminalization" describes the trends in America - and particulary in Congress - to use the criminal law to "solve" every problem, punish every mistake (instead of making proper use of civil penalties), and coerce Americans into conforming their behavior to satisfy social engineering objectives.

S 3297: Advancing America's Priorities Act

Official Title

A bill to advance America’s priorities.


This is the so-called “Tomnibus” (that term being a portmanteau of “omnibus” and Senator Coburn’s Christian name), a bundle of bills upon which Senator Tom Coburn has placed holds for a variety of reasons, usually that they contain new spending that is not offset in the budget, which is currently in deficit. Among the titles of this legislation are several that create or modify criminal offenses; these provisions, whose merits Coburn does not necessarily dispute (see his S. 3344, which contains some overlapping sections), have drawn Coburn’s attention for their expense and for the scant deliberation that the Senate has paid them. Rather than copy and paste our descriptions of those bills, which are available on Overcriminalized.com, we simply list them here: the Effective Child Pornography Prosecution Act of 2007 (H.R. 4120), the Enhancing the Effective Prosecution of Child Pornography Act of 2008 (S. 2869), the Combating Child Exploitation Act of 2008 (S. 1738), and the Captive Primate Safety Act (H.R. 6505).

Legislation Details

Reid (D - NV)


07/23/2008: Introduced