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STATEMENT: Gallego on the Release of the GAO Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

November 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07) today released the following statement in response to the newly released U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) multi-year study on the crisis of violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women in the United States.

Statement from Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07):

“For too long, government and law enforcement ignored the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. That began to change last Congress, and it continues to be my priority to shed light on and reduce the unacceptably high rate of violence perpetrated against Indigenous women. The findings of this report confirm what Indian Country and advocates know: there is more that must be done to end this crisis. Both tribal and federal officials agree that we are failing to protect Indigenous women, and I am committed to working with the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to ensure this report’s recommendations are swiftly implemented.”

The study comes after members of Congress, led by Rep. Ruben Gallego in the House, sent a letter in May 2019 to the Comptroller General of the United States requesting the GAO investigate and make recommendations on how to address this crisis.

As a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the U.S., Rep. Gallego has repeatedly brought attention to the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. In his capacity as Chairman of the Subcommittee for Indigenous People, Rep. Gallego presided over the first-ever House hearing on the issue in March 2019. In April 2019, Rep. Gallego introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at addressing the epidemic of violence against Indigenous women. In October 2020, President Trump signed into law Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act, two pieces of legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Gallego which help protect Native women and girls.

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Rep. Ruben Gallego is a Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Iraq. He serves on the House Armed Services Committee, the House Natural Resources Committee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.