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Wagner Legislation to Fund Rape Kit Testing Passes House

Oct 23, 2019
Press Release
The Debbie Smith Act Authorizes $151 million for DNA Backlog Programs

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO-02) released the following statement after the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act, her legislation to combat the rape kit backlog, passed the House of Representatives:

“For months I have fought for the Debbie Smith Act to be brought to the floor for a vote, and I am extremely happy to announce that the House has finally passed this vital legislation. The Debbie Smith Act will help eliminate the horrifying rape kit backlog that allows predators to roam freely and prevents victims from finding justice. It is unconscionable that this legislation was allowed to expire at all, and I thank my colleague Congresswoman Maloney for joining with me in fighting for the rights of victims and helping ensure that important DNA testing programs remain funded.

“While House passage is a great step forward, I am concerned that Speaker Pelosi continues to politicize the Debbie Smith Act and has chosen a multi-step process over a solution that could become law today.  The Senate, by unanimous consent, has already passed their version of Debbie Smith, which includes stronger accountability and performance measures not in the House version.  If Speaker Pelosi had put the Senate bill up for a vote today, the President could sign it into law tomorrow. I implore both parties, House and Senate, to work together to make certain the Debbie Smith reauthorization gets to the President’s desk as soon as possible.”

To watch Rep. Wagner’s floor speech urging passage of the Debbie Smith Act, click here.