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                                                       Calendar No. 158
114th Congress    }                                      {      Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session      }                                      {      114-87

======================================================================



 
 A BILL TO CURTAIL THE USE OF CHANGES IN MANDATORY PROGRAMS AFFECTING 
               THE CRIME VICTIMS FUND TO INFLATE SPENDING

                                _______
                                

                 July 21, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Enzi, from the Committee on the Budget, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1495]

    The Committee on the Budget to which was referred the bill 
(S. 1495) to curtail the use of changes in mandatory programs 
affecting the Crime Victims Fund to inflate spending having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Purpose..........................................................1
 II. Background.......................................................2
III. Legislative History..............................................2
 IV. Section-by-Section Analysis......................................2
  V. CBO Cost Estimate................................................3
 VI. Regulatory Impact Statement......................................3
VII. Public Hearing...................................................3
VIII.Committee Vote...................................................4

 IX. Views of Members of the Committee................................5
  X. Changes to Existing Law..........................................8

                               I. Purpose

    S. 1495, the Fairness for Crime Victims Act of 2015, 
modifies the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and creates a 
point of order, waivable by three-fifths of Senators duly 
chosen and sworn, against an appropriations bill, conference 
report, or amendment which provide, that the Crime Victims Fund 
(CVF) shall disburse less than the average amount it has 
collected over the past three completed fiscal years.

                             II. Background

    In 1984, the CVF was established by the Victims of Crime 
Act (VOCA, P.L. 98-473) with the premise that money the Federal 
Government collects from those who are convicted of committing 
crimes should be used to help those who are victimized by 
crime. The CVF receives no tax dollars and does not add to the 
national debt or deficit. It is financed by criminal fines and 
penalties collected by U.S. Attorneys' Offices, U.S. federal 
courts, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, along with gifts, 
bequests, and donations from private entities. Under federal 
law, monies deposited into the Fund may be used only to assist 
crime victims.
    The U.S. Department of Justice disburses money from the CVF 
pursuant to a formula enacted in the Victims of Crime Act. The 
vast majority of funds go to States, which provide victim 
compensation grants--money paid directly to victims of crime--
and victim assistance grants, which provide grants to victims 
service groups, such as Child Advocacy Centers, rape crisis 
centers, and domestic violence shelters.
    For the first 15 years, the CVF disbursed what it brought 
in the prior year. Beginning in 2000, however, spending was 
limited from the CVF to amounts less than what the Fund 
collected. The difference has been used as an offset to allow 
for higher discretionary spending. Over time, this offset has 
grown, reaching $10.8 billion in fiscal year 2015.

                        III. Legislative History

    Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced S. 1495 on June 3, 
2015. The bill was read twice and referred to the Senate 
Committee on the Budget. At the time of committee action, the 
Fairness for Crime Victims Act is co-sponsored by Senators 
Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Bob Corker (R-TN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Mike 
Crapo (R-ID), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ron 
Johnson (R-WI), David Perdue (R-GA), Rob Portman (R-OH), and 
Jeff Sessions (R-AL). The Committee held a Field Hearing on 
S.1495 on June 8, 2015, in Villanova, Pennsylvania.

                    IV. Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    This section identifies the short title as the ``Fairness 
for Crime Victims Act of 2015.''

Section 2. Point of Order against certain changes in mandatory programs 
        affecting the Crime Victims Fund

    This section provides twelve Findings and amends Title IV 
of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 651 et seq.) 
to establish a point of order against an appropriations bill, 
conference report, or amendment providing that the Crime 
Victims Fund shall disburse less than the average amount 
collected by the Fund over the past three fiscal years. If the 
point of order is sustained by the Chair, that provision, and 
only that provision, shall be stricken from the measure and may 
not be offered as an amendment from the floor.
    A Senator may move to waive the point of order and, if 
three-fifths of Senators duly chosen and sworn agree, the point 
of order is waived. In the Senate, determinations of budgetary 
levels shall be provided by the Chairman of the Senate Budget 
Committee.
    The bill also prohibits consideration in the House of 
Representatives of any legislation, amendment, or conference 
report which provides that the Crime Victims Fund shall 
disburse less than the average amount collected by the Fund 
over the past three fiscal years. In the House, determinations 
of budgetary levels shall be provided by the Chairman of the 
House Budget Committee.

                          V. CBO Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 19, 2015.
Hon. Mike Enzi,
Chairman, Committee on the Budget,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: As you requested, the Congressional 
Budget Office (CBO) has prepared a cost estimate for S. 1495, 
the Fairness for Crime Victims Act of 2015, as introduced on 
June 3, 2015.
    S. 1495 would amend the Congressional Budget Act to 
establish a point of order, which a Member of Congress may 
raise, against certain legislation that would limit the 
obligation of funds from the Crime Victims Fund in the 
Department of Justice.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 1495 would, by itself, have 
no effect on federal spending. The bill could affect certain 
legislative proposals relating to the Crime Victims Fund, but 
we have no basis for predicting the future actions of the 
Congress under current law or under the provisions of S. 1495. 
Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    S. 1495 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.

                    VI. Regulatory Impact Statement

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires committee reports to evaluate the legislation's 
regulatory, paperwork, and privacy impact on individuals, 
businesses, and consumers.
    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that S. 
1495 contains no intergovernmental or private sector mandates 
as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not 
affect the budgets of State, local, or tribal governments.

                          VII. Public Hearing

    A Field Hearing was called to order by Senator Toomey at 10 
a.m. on June 8, 2015, at Villanova University School of Law in 
Villanova, Pennsylvania, to consider ``Perspectives on Budget 
Process Reform: S. 1495--Fairness for Crime Victims Act of 
2015.'' At the invitation of Senator Toomey, the following 
witnesses provided testimony: the Honorable Jack Whelan, 
District Attorney for Delaware County, PA; Ms. Abbie Newman, 
Executive Director & CEO for Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center 
of Montgomery County, PA; Ms. Diane Moyer, Legal Director for 
the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape; and Ms. Peg Dierkers, 
Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against 
Domestic Violence.

                          VIII. Committee Vote

    On June 24, 2015, with a quorum present, the Chairman of 
the Senate Budget Committee held a Markup to order for 
consideration of S. 1495, the Fairness for Crime Victims Act of 
2015, as introduced on June 3, 2015. The committee, by voice 
vote, ordered S. 1495 to be reported favorably without 
amendment.

                 IX. Views of Members of the Committee

                ADDITIONAL VIEWS FROM SENATOR MIKE CRAPO

    I appreciate the opportunity to work with Senator Toomey 
and others on this important issue.
    This is an issue I have been working on since I first 
offered an amendment in this committee to the Fiscal Year 2010 
budget resolution to establish a point of order against efforts 
to use CHIMPs to spend money out of the Crime Victims Fund for 
other purposes.
    My amendment received unanimous support in this committee, 
but unfortunately was dropped in conference.
    Then, we had several years where this committee did not 
mark up a budget resolution.
    But, when we did again for Fiscal Year 2014, I again 
offered my amendment, which once more received unanimous 
support in this committee.
    That year, my amendment did not go any further because the 
Senate leadership at the time failed to proceed with passing a 
budget through the full Senate and on to conference.
    Earlier this year, however, this committee, under Chairman 
Enzi's leadership, did produce a strong balanced budget 
resolution, which was ultimately conferenced with the House.
    My amendment was again offered and again supported 
unanimously in this committee.
    And, as a conferee, I was pleased that my amendment took 
another step forward, as a modified version, providing 
additional protections to the Crime Victims Fund for FY 2016, 
was included in the final conference report.
    I am a proud co-sponsor of the legislation from Senator 
Toomey, which will take another important step forward in this 
effort to protect victims of crime.
    This bill, for the first time, will provide statutory 
protections to ensure that crime victims get the assistance 
funding they deserve and are entitled to under the law.
    Further, this bill will protect against efforts to continue 
to increase the amount of funds in the CVF that are diverted 
for other spending purposes.
    As I have noted many times, these funds are not taxpayer 
dollars that can be spent at the discretion of Congress.
    These are fines, forfeitures and penalties from criminals 
that have been directed by law to a special fund set aside 
specifically to fund programs to assist victims of crime.
    There is no statutory authority for the government to use a 
dime of these funds for any other purpose.
    I again thank Senator Toomey for this legislation, which 
will build on the progress we have already made, and I pledge 
to continue my efforts to work with him, and many others on 
this committee and throughout the Senate to complete our 
efforts to protect every dime in the fund so that these funds 
are only used to assist and protect victims of crime.

                                                        Mike Crapo.

              ADDITIONAL VIEWS FROM SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY

    The committee will consider S. 1495, the Fairness for 
Victims of Crime Act. I support this measure, which would 
establish a budgetary point of order against certain changes in 
mandatory programs that affect the Crime Victims Fund.
    I have long advocated victims' rights, and I was an 
original co-sponsor of the 1984 Victims of Crime Act, which 
created the Crime Victims Fund. This fund is premised on the 
notion that fines and penalties collected from criminal 
offenders should be used to help those who have been victimized 
by crime. The money in the fund derives entirely from fines and 
restitution paid by federal criminals, not from taxpayers.
    According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the money in 
the Crime Victims Fund helps thousands of local public and 
nonprofit organizations provide medical care, mental health 
counseling, lost wages, courtroom advocacy, temporary housing, 
increased awareness of victims' rights, and much more.
    The Victims of Crime Act passed Congress with significant 
bipartisan support in 1984, and three decades after President 
Reagan signed it into law, I'm pleased to see that the Act is 
still working as intended. But its efficiency has been weakened 
in recent years, after congressional appropriators imposed an 
arbitrary cap on money flowing out of the fund. Since this step 
was taken, billions of dollars have been withheld from 
survivors of violent crime.
    I support Senator Toomey's efforts to remove this cap and 
restore the original intent of the Victims of Crime Act. Every 
last penny brought into the Victims of Crime Act fund is 
supposed to help victims rather than serve as a fund for other 
projects supported by appropriators. It's important that we 
ensure that victims of crime and their families are not 
forgotten and that they receive the compensation they are 
rightly owed.
                                                    Chuck Grassley.
                       X. Changes to Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
material is printed in italic, existing law in which no change 
is proposed is shown in roman):

                    CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT OF 1974


                         [2 U.S.C. 651 et seq.]


TITLE IV--ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS TO IMPROVE FISCAL PROCEDURES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    PART C--ADDITIONAL LIMITATIONS ON BUDGETARY AND APPROPRIATIONS 
                              LEGISLATION

SEC. 441. POINT OF ORDER AGAINST CHANGES IN MANDATORY PROGRAMS 
                    AFFECTING THE CRIME VICTIMS FUND.

    (a) Definitions.--In this section----
          (1) the term `CHIMP' means a provision that----
                  (A) would have been estimated as affecting 
                direct spending or receipts under section 252 
                of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit 
                Control Act of 1985 (2 U.S.C. 902) (as in 
                effect prior to September 30, 2002) if the 
                provision was included in legislation other 
                than appropriation Acts; and
                  (B) results in a net decrease in budget 
                authority in the current year or the budget 
                year, but does not result in a net decrease in 
                outlays over the period of the total of the 
                current year, the budget year, and all fiscal 
                years covered under the most recently adopted 
                concurrent resolution on the budget;
          (2) the term `Crime Victims Fund' means the Crime 
        Victims Fund established under section 1402 of the 
        Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 10601); and
          (3) the term `3-year average amount' means the annual 
        average amount that was deposited into the Crime 
        Victims Fund during the 3-fiscal-year period beginning 
        on October 1 of the fourth fiscal year before the 
        fiscal year to which a CHIMP affecting the Crime 
        Victims Fund applies.
    (b) Point of Order in the Senate.----
          (1) In general.--When the Senate is considering a 
        bill or joint resolution making appropriations for a 
        fiscal year, or an amendment thereto, amendment between 
        the Houses in relation thereto, conference report 
        thereon, or motion thereon, if a point of order is made 
        by a Senator against a provision containing a CHIMP 
        that, if enacted, would cause the amount available for 
        obligation during the fiscal year from the Crime 
        Victims Fund to be less than the 3-year average amount, 
        and the point of order is sustained by the Chair, that 
        provision shall be stricken from the measure and may 
        not be offered as an amendment from the floor.
          (2) Form of the point of order.--A point of order 
        under paragraph (1) may be raised by a Senator as 
        provided in section 313(e).
          (3) Conference reports.--When the Senate is 
        considering a conference report on, or an amendment 
        between the Houses in relation to, a bill or joint 
        resolution, upon a point of order being made by any 
        Senator pursuant to paragraph (1), and such point of 
        order being sustained, such material contained in such 
        conference report or House amendment shall be stricken, 
        and the Senate shall proceed to consider the question 
        of whether the Senate shall recede from its amendment 
        and concur with a further amendment, or concur in the 
        House amendment with a further amendment, as the case 
        may be, which further amendment shall consist of only 
        that portion of the conference report or House 
        amendment, as the case may be, not so stricken. Any 
        such motion in the Senate shall be debatable. In any 
        case in which such point of order is sustained against 
        a conference report (or Senate amendment derived from 
        such conference report by operation of this 
        subsection), no further amendment shall be in order.
          (4) Supermajority waiver and appeal.--In the Senate, 
        this subsection may be waived or suspended only by an 
        affirmative vote of three-fifths of the Members, duly 
        chosen and sworn. An affirmative vote of three-fifths 
        of Members of the Senate, duly chosen and sworn shall 
        be required to sustain an appeal of the ruling of the 
        Chair on a point of order raised under this subsection.
          (5) Determination.--For purposes of this subsection, 
        budgetary levels shall be determined on the basis of 
        estimates provided by the Chairman of the Committee on 
        the Budget of the Senate.
    (c) Point of Order in the House of Representatives.----
          (1) In general.--A provision in a bill or joint 
        resolution making appropriations for a fiscal year that 
        proposes a CHIMP that, if enacted, would cause the 
        amount available for obligation during the fiscal year 
        from the Crime Victims Fund to be less than the 3-year 
        average amount shall not be in order in the House of 
        Representatives.
          (2) Amendments and conference reports.--It shall not 
        be in order in the House of Representatives to consider 
        an amendment to, or a conference report on, a bill or 
        joint resolution making appropriations for a fiscal 
        year if such amendment thereto or conference report 
        thereon proposes a CHIMP that, if enacted, would cause 
        the amount available for obligation during the fiscal 
        year from the Crime Victims Fund to be less than the 3-
        year average amount.
          (3) Determination.--For purposes of this subsection, 
        budgetary levels shall be determined on the basis of 
        estimates provided by the Chairman of the Committee on 
        the Budget of the House of Representatives.''

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


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