U.S. Congressman Ted Poe (R-Tx.) is spearheading a bipartisan drive to save more than $1 billion in federal money set aside for programs that help crime victims, reports Kingwood.com. Poe is supported by the National District Attorneys Association, 14 groups representing crme victims, and other law enforcement interests. The Bush administration has proposed to rescind money in a federal crime victims fund created in a 1984 law.
Mark Lunsford, whose daughter Jessica was killed recently by a sex offender in Florida, said, “No amount of money can bring Jessie back, but we can hold offenders accountable through [Victims of Crime Act] funds and help innocent victims of crime.” The White House Office of Management and Budget called the fund a budget gimmick. Poe responded that programs like rape crisis centers and domestic abuse shelters, assisting victims of terrorist attacks like the Oklahoma City bombing or 9/11 are not “gimmicks.”