Republican Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner said Thursday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was holding important bipartisan legislation hostage while she and other House Democrats forged ahead on impeachment.
Wagner spoke with St. Louis-based radio host Marc Cox on KFTK FM News Talk 97.1, explaining that Pelosi had refused to allow her to bring the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act to the floor while she demanded access to the whistleblower complaint — which President Donald Trump was already releasing — regarding Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
LISTEN (9:45 mark)
“There is something called the Debbie Smith Act, and Nancy Pelosi held this up yesterday while she demanded the president release the whistleblower report, which he’s already doing,” Wagner explained. “The Debbie Smith Act literally combats, it’s a federal program to combat the backlog of rape kits in our nation.”
The Debbie Smith Act was signed into law by then-President Barack Obama in 2014, and was a truly bipartisan effort. It has 15 co-sponsors — 8 Democrats and 7 Republicans — in ten states and one U.S. territory, and it authorizes grant money to states in order to help clear the backlog of collected but untested rape kits.
The Debbie Smith Act is set to expire on September 30, but Wagner said so far she has been unable to convince House Democrats to allow a vote. (RELATED: Here Are The Democrats Not In Favor Of Impeachment)
Republicans tried to force a standalone vote on the floor but we were denied. I will not stop fighting for this legislation. We must catch and convict abusers and eliminate the unconscionable rape kit backlog.
— Ann Wagner (@RepAnnWagner) September 25, 2019
Today I urged House Leadership to bring the Debbie Smith Reauthorization Act to a vote. It is unconscionable that House Leadership continues to refuse to bring this legislation to the floor.
— Ann Wagner (@RepAnnWagner) September 26, 2019