“Rather than protect a program that helps victims of sexual assault, Democrats focused on their ‘impeachment’ agenda and allowed the Debbie Smith Act to expire. This preoccupation with impeachment has heavy opportunity costs.”

WASHINGTON — Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, issued the statement below after the House passage of the Debbie Smith Act.

The Debbie Smith Act would provide funding to address the rape kit backlog, which reached approximately 169,000 in 2017. This program has historically received substantial bipartisan, bicameral support. Democratic leadership in the House, however, prevented a clean reauthorization of the Debbie Smith Act from coming to the floor for consideration until today — 23 days after the program expired.

The Senate unanimously passed the Debbie Smith Act on May 16, 2019. The bill under consideration in the House today lacks accountability provisions that are included in the Senate-passed bill.

“The Debbie Smith Act finally passed the House today with overwhelming bipartisan support. Republicans have repeatedly called on Democrats to give the House the chance to vote on the Debbie Smith Act.

“Rather than protect a program that helps victims of sexual assault, Democrats focused on their ‘impeachment’ agenda and allowed the Debbie Smith Act to expire. This preoccupation with impeachment has heavy opportunity costs. The Debbie Smith Act is a key resource that helps sexual assault victims get the justice they deserve, but Democrats are again keeping it out of reach by passing a version that can’t go straight to the president’s desk,” said Collins.