Press Releases

Chairman Nadler Lauds Passage of the Debbie Smith Act, Calls on Senate to Take up VAWA

Washington, DC, October 24, 2019
Tags: Crime

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) praised the second House passage of H.R. 777, the bipartisan Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2019, which passed by a vote of 402 to 1. The Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act of 2019 reauthorizes the Debbie Smith Act and the Debbie Smith Backlog Grant program for an additional five years, through FY 2024. The bill ensures that grantee states and localities prioritize DNA analysis of crime scene samples from rape kits, other sexual assault evidence, and cases without an identified suspect.  The bill also ensures that Debbie Smith grantees prioritize the analysis of samples from homicides and sexual assaults.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued the following statement praising its passage and calling on the Senate to do its part: 

“The Debbie Smith Act is critical legislation to help fund rape kit processing and end the rape kit backlog across the nation. I helped author the original bill passed in 2004. I applaud my dear friend Rep. Carolyn Maloney who has worked diligently to pass this legislation. Earlier this year, the House passed the Debbie Smith Reauthorization as part of the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization, but it has languished in the Senate for six months. Once again, the House is doing its part by passing a separate reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act. It’s past time for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to put country over party and work with Democrats in the House to get these two bills signed into law as soon as possible.”