Clarke urges restoration of funds for crime victims

Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.

Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has announced her effort to restore $1.5 billion from the Crime Victims Fund — about 10 percent of the fund — that was removed in the bipartisan budget agreement passed in Congress to prevent a default on the federal debt and to keep the federal government in operation.

The fund was established by the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 to collect fines and penalties paid by corporations and individuals convicted of federal crimes and to offer resources to crime victims such as medical costs, funeral and burial costs, mental health counseling, and lost wages or loss of support from a parent or spouse.

The primary contributors to the fund are banks, other financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies that violated federal laws.

“I voted for the budget agreement because I believed that Congress could not in good conscience allow a default on the federal debt or a shutdown of the federal government,” Clarke said.

“But there are several provisions of the agreement with which I am deeply concerned, such as the continuation of reductions in Medicare reimbursements, reduced payments for outpatient services at neighborhood health clinics, and the removal $1.5 billion from the Crime Victims Fund,” added the representative for the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn.

“This fund provides critical resources to the victims of crime and their families at a time of serious need, when people are particularly vulnerable,” she continued. “We should not eliminate resources for these individuals.”

Clarke said she will work with her colleagues to restore the Crime Victims Fund to provide crime victims with the resources needed to rebuild their lives.

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