Poe, Costa Lead Legislation to Protect Fund Essential for Crime Victims
Washington, D.C. – Wednesday, Rep. Ted Poe (TX-2) and Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), co-chairmen of the bipartisan Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus (VRC), introduced H.R. 5363 to protect the Crime Victims Fund from both budget sequestration or being redirected to other uses.
The Crime Victims Fund is the bedrock of support for victims and survivors of crime nationwide. Sequestration or redirection of funds would threaten to severely reduce services for victims of crime. Over 7.9 million crime victims were helped by the Crime Victims Fund in FY2016 alone, a majority of whom are survivors of physical, sexual, and domestic assault, including children victims of sexual and physical abuse. As co-chairs of the VRC, Congressmen Poe and Costa have been championing the rights of crime victims and safeguarding the Crime Victims Fund for over a decade.
“The Crime Victims Fund is the lifeblood of victim service providers,” said Rep. Poe. “The Fund is paid for by convicted federal felons who are assessed fees and fines. With the money in this Fund, victim service providers help victims heal, cope, and persevere after a crime. H.R. 5363 takes necessary steps to protect the Fund, ensuring that the money cannot be spent on unrelated programs and remains untouched by sequestration. Congress must act now to ensure that this Fund – paid into by criminals – is used only for its intended purpose: to help restore victims.”
“At a time when they need it the most, the Crime Victims Fund provides vital support for crime victims, including survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, and mass violence,” said Rep. Costa. “We have seen the powerful impact the Fund has on individuals and communities across our nation, and I will continue to do everything I can to protect the Fund and our ability to provide this life-altering support to survivors. It is simply the right thing to do.”
The Crime Victims Fund was designed to help ensure survivors have access to the essential services they need to recover by having criminals pay for the harm they afflicted on victims. The Crime Victims Fund consists solely of criminal fines, forfeitures, and other criminal penalties. No federal tax dollars go into the Fund, and it has no impact on the national deficit, so many hold that the Crime Victims Fund should not be treated like other parts of the federal budget.