Congress Finally Does Something Right

Believe it or not, Congress actually did something right. They passed a budget bill that includes $41 million in funding to clear the backlog of rape kits sitting in crime labs untested all over the country. Estimates are that around 400,000 untested rape kits are sitting on the shelves.

Biden said the federal funding will help local and state law enforcement agencies test the kits and train personnel.

“If we are able to test these rape kits, more crimes will be solved, more crimes will be prevented, and more women will be given back their lives,” Biden said during a press conference. A rape kit, which includes swabs, tubes and glass slides, is used to collect and preserve any bodily fluids, fibers or forensic evidence left by a perpetrator.

Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, and Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, all of Maryland, joined Biden at the laboratory…

Mikulski, who recently announced that she will not seek reelection in 2016, called the funding “an absolute breakthrough.”

“We want to make sure no victim is doubly victimized: by a violent attack from a predator, then by a system that’s not equipped or willing to deal with the evidence,” Mikulski said. “Behind every kit there’s a victim, and behind every victim there’s a predator. When you get a predator off the street, you not only do justice to the victim but prevent other victims from occurring.”

This is a very, very good development. That 400,000 rape kits still sit untested after years of focus on the issue is appalling. The thing that was needed was money and Congress finally allocated some to clear the backlog. The world just got a tiny bit more just.

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  • moarscienceplz

    Yes, but are they ‘legitimate’ rape kits?


  • themadtapper

    Yes, but are they ‘legitimate’ rape kits?

    Well, we do know that this congress has ways of shutting the whole process down.

  • fifthdentist

    Well, duh, gotta find out who the dads are so they can get visitation rights for their rape-spawn.

    After all, the Republicans are all about those family values.

  • Modusoperandi

    Do we really need to waste America’s hard working, taxpayer dollars on this? I see no reason to tar America’s hard working, taxpaying rapists with this.

    In any event, slut shaming is proven to be both more effective and cheaper, and on the few occasions where that fails to prevent a rape being reported, we can move to a deeper level of denial, by manipulating statistics (these 400,000 untested kits, for example, lower the rape rate by a statistically significant amount).

  • eamick

    Well, duh, gotta find out who the dads are so they can get visitation rights for their rape-spawn. After all, the Republicans are all about those family values.

    Mikulski, Cardin, and Ruppersberger are all Democrats.

  • cycleninja

    That 400,000 rape kits are necessary is appalling.

  • Modusoperandi

    eamick “Mikulski, Cardin, and Ruppersberger are all Democrats.”

    Also, the name of a law firm and a folk trio from the 1960s.

  • theschwa

    The downside is that $41,000,000 will NOT go armored ATVs for police to use against protesters, or automatic weapons for SWAT teams to use while enforcing no-knock warrants against drug offenders! Thanks, Obama!!

  • theguy

    I’m glad the money was finally allocated. I’m a little surprised it even went through, what with the gridlock in Congress. Did any of the “legitimate rape” Congress-dipshits criticize the bill?

  • left0ver1under

    The US “drug war” budget is approximately $15 billion, and half of that is wasted on easy charges and easy prosecutions of marijuana users, not on dangerous criminals. And yet any funding increase goes ahead without question.

    Meanwhile, it took public outrage just to get $41 million to test rape kits, to identify rapists who have likely committed subsequent rapes after the one being tested.

  • blf

    I assume (without any actual evidence) the bill being passed happened by accident.

    Or, someone convinced Ted Cruz the bill repealed the nonexistent bill which enacted Common Core.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    What has congress got against Bill Cosby?

  • Marcus Ranum

    They couldn’t not fund cops. The real question is how long it’ll take for the cops to blow it on other stuff like gear for the pewpewpew.

  • StevoR

    @6. cycleninja : “That 400,000 rape kits are necessary is appalling.”

    Seconded by me & quoted for truth. (Hmm .. Ed Brayton noted this in the OP too.)

    That these many were needed is appalling indeed and that they’ve already had to sit so long and not been dealt with is terrible too. I guess at least now there’s some small progress but its hard to feel too happy given what these are and how long its taken to find this

  • DaveL

    $41 million? But that’s, like, 50 small town police departments who won’t be able to buy that new MRVLC* !

    *Mine-Resistant Vehicle that Looks Cool.