Poe/Costa/Moore Amendment Saves Victims Funding

Amendment Safeguards and Increases VOCA Funds

WASHINGTON, DC Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) proudly announces that the Poe/Costa/Moore (KS) Amendment to increase the cap on the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund passed the United States House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support by a vote of 395-34.

The passage of this amendment signifies the dedication Members of Congress have for protecting victims of crime. This victory will provide a much needed increase in funding that is given to victims assistance providers, said Poe. I am grateful for the support of my colleagues, Congressman Jim Costa and Congressman Dennis Moore, for cosponsoring this amendment with me and the support of nearly the entire House of Representatives.

While there is $1.3 billion within the VOCA Fund, it is currently capped by the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations Committee at $625 million to ensure that funds would be available in future years. However, the Committee has not increased the cap with the increase in number of service providers and compensation programs. The Poe/Costa/Moore Amendment allows for a $10 million increase to the VOCA Fund to enable direct victim service programs to continue to receive the money they need to serve crime victims.

Crime victims are our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, parents and neighbors who are struggling to survive in the aftermath of crime, said Congressman Jim Costa (D-California). They deserve services, and our support to help them cope. This simple increase in VOCA funds ensures that victim service providers across the country will be able to help crime victims. I am thrilled that this amendment passed, and will continue to work to fight for crime victims.

The Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Fund was created by Congress in 1984 to provide federal support to federal, state, tribal and local programs that assist victims of crime. The VOCA Fund is derived entirely from fines and penalties paid by offenders at the federal level, not taxpayer revenues. Approximately 4,400 agencies depend on continued VOCA Victim Assistance Grant funding to serve 3.8 million victims a year.

As a former District Attorney, I am well aware of the devastating effects of violence and crime, Congressman Dennis Moore (D-KS) said. Providing the resources advocates need to serve survivors ensures that victims of crime have the support they need to get through their ordeal. I appreciate the opportunity to work with Congressmen Poe and Costa to secure additional funding for this important resource. We will work to make sure that the final version of this bill contains this important increase.

Congressman Poe is the founder and co-chair of the Congressional Victims rights Caucus and life long advocate for victims and law enforcement. Poe serves on the Board of Directors for the National Childrens Alliance in Washington, DC and the Childrens Assessment Center in Houston, Texas.