Spending bill includes funds for rape kit testing

Posted at 10:30 PM, Dec 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-12 22:30:12-05

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A budget battle in Washington is continuing to hold up funding that could help put away criminals responsible for hundreds of thousands of rape.

Across the country, an estimated 400,000 rape kits remain un-examined because police departments don't have the money for the pricey DNA testing.

It's one of the issues that's been lost in the D.C. shuffle as lawmakers focus on Obamacare, immigration and financial regulation.

Meantime, Detroit is dealing with at least 11,000 untested DNA kits, Las Vegas with 4,000 and Memphis is facing a backlog of more than 12,000 unprocessed kits - some of them decades old.

The biggest obstacle is money.

Now, there is hope as lawmakers included $41 million for rape kit testing as part of the Justice Department's fiscal year 2015 budget.

The U.S. House on Thursday night passed the so-called "CRomnibus" spending bill, funding most federal agencies through Sept. 2015.