July 14, 2017

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10) made the following statement today after her proposed language to fight MS-13 and other gangs was included in the report accompanying the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The language urges the Department of Justice to prioritize grant funding for existing Regional Gang Task Forces, such as the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force. The legislation will now go to the full House for consideration:

“Recently I went on a ride along with the Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force where I saw firsthand the MS-13 gang problem in our community. The Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task Force works with the communities in our region and roots out alleged gang members through direct enforcement, prevention, and educational programs. It is therefore essential that they be properly funded so these brave men and women may do their jobs and protect our communities. With inclusion of this language, Regional Gang Task Forces, such as the one we have here in Northern Virginia, will be prioritized to receive federal grant funding. There is an estimated 4,000 MS-13 and other gang members in the Northern Virginia region. Over the last six months, at least eight murders have been committed and tied to MS-13 and other gangs, which represents a 166% increase over last year. The Northern Virginia Regional Gang Task force needs additional resources to successfully combat transnational gangs like MS-13.”