FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jessica Kahanek (Costa)202-225-3341
June 5, 2013 Shaylyn Hynes (Poe) 202-225-6565
Costa, Poe Introduce Bill to Protect
Crime Victims Fund
Washington, DC – This week, Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus (VRC) co-chairmen and co-founders, Reps. Jim Costa and Ted Poe, introduced legislation that would protect the Crime Victims Fund from budget sequestration which is threatening to severely reduce services for victims of crime. The fund is backed solely by criminal fines, forfeitures and other penalties, not federal tax dollars, and it has no impact on the national deficit.
“Budget decisions reflect priorities and this bill puts protecting crime victims ahead of misguided budget gimmicks,” said Costa. “The Victims Crime Fund has zero impact on the federal deficit but every dollar spent from the account has a huge impact on a crime victim during their time of need. We all want to fix our debt challenges, but squeezing the Crime Victims Fund doesn’t move us an inch closer to that goal.”
“The Crime Victims Fund is the lifeblood of victim service providers,” said Poe. “Victim service providers do important work, helping victims heal, cope and persevere after a crime. This bill will ensure that they are able to continue that work. The money in the Crime Victims Fund is collected exclusively from criminals (not taxpayers) and is used to aid those who the criminals have hurt. Any cuts in this fund will do nothing to reduce the deficit and only rob victims of critical services they need to move on with their lives. ”
Current law requires that all funds not spent in a single fiscal year “shall remain in the Fund for obligation in future fiscal years, without fiscal year limitation.” The White House’s Office of Management and Budget now projects that the Fund’s balance will be $11.431 billion in 2014.