Washington, D.C. – This week, Rep. Ted Poe (TX-2) and Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16), co-chairmen of the bipartisan Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus (VRC), introduced H.R. 818 to protect the Crime Victims Fund from being redirected to other uses and thereby threatening to severely reduce services for crime victims of crime. The fund consists solely of criminal fines, forfeitures and other penalties, not federal tax dollars, and it has no impact on the national deficit. In other words, in the Crime Victims Fund, criminals pay for the harm they caused to victims.

“The Crime Victims Fund is the lifeblood of victim service providers,” said Poe. “In 1984, Congress created a law that established the Crime Victims Fund to support victims of crime. Since then, convicted federal felons who are assessed fees and fines must pay into the Crime Victims Fund. With this money in this fund victim service providers do important work, helping victims heal, cope and persevere after a crime. H.R. 818 will help protect these funds, ensuring that these funds cannot be spent on unrelated programs. Congress must act now to ensure that this fund – paid into by criminals – is used for its intended purpose: to help restore victims. ”

“Ensuring that the non-taxer money in the Crime Victims Fund is used only for its intended purposes is one of my highest priorities in Congress, and the Crime Victims Fund Preservation Act meets that important goal,” said Costa. “As co-chairs of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, Congressman Poe and I support and advocate for all victims and survivors of crime.  Unfortunately, there are many children, women, and men who do not have access to the services they need to heal. The Victims’ Rights Caucus will be working diligently in the 115th Congress to protect the money in the Fund, so victim service providers can expand assistance to those individuals who sadly have been victims of crime.” 

As co-chairmen and co-founders of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, Poe and Costa have been leaders in bringing the issue of crime victims’ rights to the forefront in Congress.  The mission of the Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus is to elevate crime victim issues in Congress in a bipartisan manner without infringing on the rights of the accused and to represent and to advocate before the Administration and within Congress on behalf of crime victims.