Reps. Nancy Mace and Barbara Lee on Wednesday introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at addressing the nationwide backlog of tens of thousands of untested rape kits.
The measure, dubbed the Rape Kit Backlog Progress Act, would require state and local authorities to conduct a comprehensive inventory of rape kits in their possession — or risk federal funding. The House Judiciary Committee is slated to mark up the legislation Thursday.
“We want to make sure that women understand that their voices are going to be heard, actions are going to be taken, we’re going to process these rape kits [and] get this backlog under control,” Mace said. “Get states to be held accountable and get them to take action and take it now.”
Both Mace (R-S.C.) and Lee (D-Calif.) said they’ll keep working to address the backlog of some 100,000 untested rape kits around the country.
More than two dozen lawmakers from both parties co-sponsored the legislation upon its introduction.