Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

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Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

   The Clerk read as follows:

   Amendment offered by Mr. Poe:

    Page 75, line 24, strike ``$625,000,000'' and insert ``$635,000,000''.

    Page 76, line 2, insert ``, and the amount otherwise provided under this Act for Department of Commerce, Departmental Management, Salaries and Expenses is reduced by $10,000,000'' after ``(42 U.S.C. 10601)''.

   Mr. POE. Mr. Chairman, I want to talk briefly on the Poe-Costa-Moore amendment. As stated in the amendment, this is a bipartisan amendment. And I want to thank the gentleman from California and the gentleman from Kansas for their support for crime victims under this amendment and the VOCA fund.

   The VOCA fund was established under the Reagan administration. It's a novel concept where criminals who are convicted of crime pay fees into a fund that goes to victims of crime. It's kind of like criminals pay the rent on the courthouse, as they should. And so this fund has been established to supply victims and victims services throughout the country necessary funds for those victims and those projects.

   At this present time, the fund is up to $1.3 billion. But this year the fund is capped at $625 million for victims services and victims throughout the United States.

   This amendment is asking that 10 million more dollars be applied to this fund because of two reasons: Unfortunately, there are more crime victims in the United States than there ever have been. And also, by necessity, there are more programs that are victims services than ever have been in the United States.

   Over 4,400 different programs and agencies receive funding under the VOCA fund. Over 3 million victims receive funds from this fund every year. And this covers the gamut, from sexual assault victims to child victims, to robbery victims and victims and families of homicide.

   These funds are needed for these families. But they're also needed for domestic violence shelters. They're needed for child assessment centers. Those are centers throughout the United States that take sexually exploited children and help them through the process; not only the medical process, not only the psychological process, but the criminal justice system as well.

   There are 26 organizations that support an additional $10 million for this crime victims fund, because it is necessary to help victims throughout the United States. So under this amendment, we're asking for 10 million additional dollars taken from human resources that would be applied to crime victims organizations throughout the United States and money for crime victims. This money, as I stated, is necessary. Unfortunately, it is necessary to help victims.

   As chairman of the Crime Victims Caucus, and my cochair Mr. Costa, and other Members like Mr. Moore from Kansas, we all support this additional funding for crime victims. Take it and place it where it is necessary.

   It is a novel concept to allow people who violate the law to contribute to a constant fund, and we want that to continue, but this year there needs to be 10 million additional dollars contributed to that fund so that numerous organizations that provide specifically victims services that funding has been cut in the past will be allowed to continue those victims services in the United States.

   List of Organizations Who Support the Poe-Costa-Moore Amendment

   American Probation and Parole Association; American Society of Victimology; Break the C