Rep. Ann Wagner and Attorney General Eric Schmitt Call on Speaker Pelosi to Include Sexual Assault Kit Funding in End-of-Year Appropriations Process
Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi urging her to include reauthorization of the Debbie Smith DNA backlog grant program in any end-of-year appropriations bills or continuing resolution. Debbie Smith programs provide much-needed funding to crime labs to process DNA evidence and strengthen the national DNA database that identifies criminals and helps victims find justice.
“Victims in Missouri and all parts of our nation rely on the testing of DNA evidence to identify and capture the criminals who have assaulted them. I urge the Speaker to make the Debbie Smith Act a priority so our state and local law enforcement have the necessary tools to put rapists and other perpetrators of sexual violence behind bars where they belong,” said Rep. Wagner. “The Debbie Smith Act has tragically been allowed to lapse, and reauthorizing this vital program is increasingly urgent as we stand up for survivors of sexual assault.”
“Submitting to a sexual assault kit and examination is an invasive process and takes outstanding courage – we need to honor that courage by ensuring that those responsible for these horrible crimes are held accountable for their actions. Providing funding for the state’s crime labs and other resources is an essential first step to bringing perpetrators to justice,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “I appreciate Representative Wagner’s leadership on this issue, and urge Congress to reauthorize the Debbie Smith Act.”
Read the full letter to Speaker Pelosi here.