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                                                      Calendar No. 368
115th Congress    }                                      {      Report
 2d Session       }                                      {     115-220




                 April 9, 2018.--Ordered to be printed


    Mr. Hoeven, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the 

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1870]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 1870) to amend the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 to 
secure urgent resources vital to Indian victims of crime and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends the bill do 


    The Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim 
Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act, S. 1870, will improve public safety 
and strengthen victim resources in tribal communities by 
amending the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (VOCA) to create a 
grant program within the U.S. Department of Justice's Office 
for Victims of Crime (Office). The Director of the Office will 
administer grants to eligible Indian tribes in order to provide 
needed victims' assistance.


    Congress established the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) to 
support services for victims of crime in 1984 with passage and 
enactment of the VOCA. Administered by the Office, the CVF 
provides funding to states, local governments, and other 
entities through a system of specially designated formula and 
discretionary grant programs.\1\
    \1\See generally, Lisa N. Sacco, Cong. Research Serv., R42672, The 
Crime Victims Fund: Federal Support for Victims of Crime (2015).
    The CVF is budget neutral and funded by fines and penalties 
from convicted federal offenders. For a nine year period after 
VOCA enactment and beginning in Fiscal Year 2000, Congress 
placed a cap on the annual amount that can be obligated towards 
the following year's VOCA activities.\2\ The annual CVF funding 
cap will increase from Fiscal Year 2017's $2.573 billion to 
$4.436 billion dollars for Fiscal Year 2018.\3\
    \2\About OVC, Crime Victims Fund, Department of Justice, Office of 
Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime. Found at: https://
    \3\H.R. 1625, 115th Cong. (2018) (enacted).
    Under the current VOCA system, tribes can only access CVF 
support through sub-grants or allocations received from the 
state in which they are located. This sub-grant system results 
in less than 1% of the annual CVF funding cap reaching Indian 
tribes, leaving crime victims in Indian country substantially 
underserved by the CVF. States that do award CVF sub-grants to 
tribes often place significant restrictions on the types of 
activities for which these funds may be used, which further 
hinder Indian tribes in their ability to provide services to 
victims of crime on their lands.
    To address the issues of CVF resource access in Indian 
country and limitations on tribal-design of victim service 
programs for Native communities, Congress and the Department of 
Justice sought to provide tribes with direct access to a 
portion of funding provided to the CVF in a given fiscal year. 
Most recently, the President's Budget Request for Fiscal Year 
2017 requested a 5 percent set aside of the annual CVF funding 
cap for Indian tribes. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 
2018 included a one-time 3 percent set aside within the annual 
CVF funding cap for Indian tribes. While this funding 
allocation supported by Congress and the Administration serves 
as a first step to address tribal victim access to CVF 
resources, Congress should provide a more permanent solution 
that modifies the CVF state grant structure to better fit 
Indian tribes several improvements to the authorized uses for 
Indian tribes.

                          Summary of the Bill

    The SURVIVE Act, S. 1870, will provide needed victim 
assistance to Indian tribes by creating a 5 percent allocation 
from the annual CVF funding cap and establishing a grant 
program within the Office to distribute the 5 percent 
allocation among tribal grantees. The bill utilizes this grant 
program structure to provide more programmatic flexibility 
specific to the victim resource needs of Indian tribes than 
what is currently available under the state CVF grant program. 
For Indian tribes applying for a grant created under the 
SURVIVE Act, the Director of the Office would determine if the 
application meets the program requirements and award grants 
    The grant program created by the SURVIVE Act parallels 
existing federal VOCA regulations and guidance to provide 
critical victim assistance, services, and infrastructure. 
Authorized services and infrastructure under the SURVIVE Act 
include, but are not limited to, domestic violence shelters; 
medical care; counseling; legal assistance and services; and, 
child and elder abuse programs. Providing flexibility in the 
grant program will allow Indian tribes to build baseline 
service delivery and improve access to such resources in areas 
that greatly need culturally appropriate, community-specific 
    The SURVIVE Act provides significant confidentiality and 
privacy protections for victims of crime who seek and receive 
services supported by the grant program. It will require all 
grantees to submit annual reports to the Office, which is to 
conduct regular monitoring and reviews of the grant program to 
improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the grant program. 
Negotiated rulemaking between Indian tribes and the U.S. 
Department of Justice is also a feature of the SURVIVE Act that 
will give Indian tribes the opportunity to provide input into 
how the Office can more effectively and fully implement the 
grant program.

                          Need for Legislation

    Data show that Indians face a higher rate of violent 
victimization than other population groups.\4\ Testimony 
received by the Committee during the 114th Congress highlighted 
the disparate rate of violent crime in Native communities and 
noted the lack of victim services infrastructure on tribal 
lands.\5\ Witnesses also linked lack of access to victim 
services infrastructure to higher rates of re-victimization and 
re-criminalization--linking these systemic failures to 
increased recidivism, under-reporting of crimes, and life-long 
mental and physical impacts for victims and their families.\6\
    \4\Criminal Victimization, 2016, U.S. Department of Justice, Office 
of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics at page 22 (December 
2017). Found at:; Violence 
Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men, Andre B. 
Rosay, Ph.D., U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, 
National Institute of Justice (May 2016). Found at: https://
    \5\Addressing the Need for Victim Services in Indian Country: 
Hearing before the S. Comm. on Indian Affairs, 114th Cong. (2015).
    \6\Id.; also see Strengthening Alaska Native Families: Examining 
Recidivism, Reentry, and Tribal Courts in Alaska: Hearing before the S. 
Comm. on Indian Affairs, 114th Cong. (2015).
    Due to the tribal-specific issues with access to the 
existing CVF structure discussed above, the higher rate of 
victimization, and lack of existing infrastructure to provide 
services to victims within tribal communities, legislation that 
provides the resources needed for victims on Indian lands that 
are currently not being assisted is strongly needed. The 
SURVIVE Act would improve the mechanism for tribal access to 
federal grants for crime victim assistance and ensure Indian 
tribes have fair access to the CVF.

                          Legislative History

    On September 27, 2017, Senator Hoeven introduced S. 1870. 
Original cosponsors of S. 1870 include Senators Barrasso, 
Cortez Masto, Daines, Heitkamp, McCain, Murkowski, and Tester. 
Senators Udall and Murray joined the bill as cosponsors on 
December 6, 2017, and January 9, 2018, respectively.
    On October 25, 2017, the Committee held a legislative 
hearing on S. 1870. At the October 25th hearing, officials from 
the Departments of the Interior and Justice testified in favor 
of the bill. The three remaining witnesses on the panel--Dave 
Flute, Chairman, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse 
Reservation; Joel Boyd, Colville Business Councilman, 
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation; and Carmen 
O'Leary, Director, Native Women's Society of the Great Plains--
also testified in support of the bill.
    On December 6, 2017, the Committee held a duly called 
business meeting to consider S. 1870. At this business meeting, 
the Committee ordered the bill to be reported favorably to the 
Senate by voice vote.
    Representative O'Halleran introduced H.R. 4608, a companion 
to S. 1870, in the U.S. House of Representatives on December 
11, 2017. Representatives Cole, Sinema, and Don Young joined as 
original cosponsors. Representatives Moore, Grijalva, Issa, 
Pallone, Norton, McCollum, Cramer, Pocan, Bergman, and Lujan 
later joined as cosponsors. The bill was referred to the House 
Committee on the Judiciary. On January 22, 2018, the House 
Committee on the Judiciary referred H.R. 4608 to the 
Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and 
Investigations. No further action has been taken on the House 
bill at this time.
    114th Congress. In the 114th Congress, Senator Barrasso 
introduced S. 1704, also called the SURVIVE Act. Similar to S. 
1870, that bill, S. 1704, was cosponsored by Senators Daines, 
Heitkamp, Hoeven, McCain, Moran, Murkowski, Schatz, Tester, and 
Udall. No companion bill to S. 1704 was filed in the House of 
Representatives during the 114th Congress.
    On June 10, 2015, the Committee convened an oversight 
hearing on Addressing the Need for Victim Services in Indian 
Country. At this hearing, the Administration, tribal and state 
officials, and a tribal court judge testified on the great need 
for victim services in Indian country. The Committee also 
received testimony in the 114th Congress on juvenile justice, 
substance abuse and behavioral health, reentry and recidivism, 
and tribal courts, also underscoring the need to provide victim 
services in Indian country.\7\
    \7\See e.g., Id.; Examining the True Costs of Alcohol and Drug 
Abuse in Native Communities: Hearing before the S. Comm. on Indian 
Affairs, 114th Cong. (2015); Juvenile Justice in Indian Country: 
Challenges and Promising Strategies: Hearing before the S. Comm. on 
Indian Affairs, 114th Cong. (2015); Addressing the Harmful Effects of 
Dangerous Drugs in Native Communities: Hearing before the S. Comm. on 
Indian Affairs, 114th Cong. (2015).
    On December 3, 2015, the Committee held a duly called 
business meeting to consider S. 1704. At this business meeting, 
the Committee ordered S. 1704 to be reported with an amendment 
in the nature of a substitute. Chairman Barrasso reported S. 
1704 on December 3, 2015,\8\ and it was placed on the Senate 
Legislative Calendar under general orders. No further action 
was taken on S. 1704 during the 114th Congress.
    \8\S. Rept. 114-172.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1--Short title

    This section states that the Act may be cited as the 
``Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment 
Act'' or ``SURVIVE Act.''

Section 2--Indian victims of crime

    This section amends the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (34 
U.S.C. 20101 et seq.) to create a grant program for Indian 
tribes within the Department of Justice's Office for Victims of 
Crime (Office).
    This section directs the Office to make grants to eligible 
Indian tribes for a range of crime victim service activities. 
Funds obtained through this program may be expended over a 
period of five years and shall not be subject to matching 
requirements. Any sums that are unobligated at the end of the 
five-year period must be returned to the Office and made 
available for Indian crime victim service activities in the 
following fiscal year.
    This section specifies that in order to be eligible to 
access grants under this program, an Indian tribe must submit 
in writing a detailed victim assistance proposal, according to 
listed requirements. Any Indian tribe that receives a grant 
under this program must also submit an annual report to the 
Office describing the purpose for which grant funds were used.
    This section provides explicit oversight and enforcement 
authorities and duties to the Office, including requiring the 
Office to engage in regular monitoring, reviews, 
investigations, and audits. The Office must also ensure that 
all grants are subject to performance measures and enforceable 
agreements that allow for thorough program oversight. The 
Director of the Office for Victims of Crime (Director) must 
provide annual compliance reports on all grants awarded under 
this program to appropriate committees of Congress.
    This section provides significant confidentiality and 
privacy protections for crime victims, including restrictions 
on reporting and sharing personally identifying information of 
crime victims.
    This section specifies that grants awarded under this 
program and related administrative costs shall be supported 
with funds in the Crime Victims Fund (CVF). It amends Section 
1402(d) of the Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (42 U.S.C. 
10601(d)) to require 5% of the CVF funds made available for 
obligation in a fiscal year to be available to the Director for 
the Indian tribal grant program. The Office may not use more 
than 4% of these funds for grant administration and technical 
assistance costs.
    The grant program will sunset after a period of ten years.

Section 3--Regulations regarding Indian tribes

    This section provides that any rule, regulation, or 
guidance promulgated before enactment shall have no force or 
effect with respect to the Indian tribal grant program 
established under this Act.
    This section requires the Director to issue implementing 
regulations through negotiated rulemaking, after consultation 
with Indian tribes, no later than 1 year after this Act is 
    This section requires the Director to consult with no less 
than 2 Indian tribes from each Bureau of Indian Affairs region, 
and that small, medium, and large land-based tribes are 
represented during the negotiated rulemaking.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following cost estimate, as provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office, dated February 8, 2018, was 
prepared for S. 1870:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, February 8, 2018.
Hon. John Hoeven,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1870, the SURVIVE 
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
                                                Keith Hall,

S. 1870--Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment 

    S. 1870 would establish a program within the Department of 
Justice to make grants to Indian tribes to provide services to 
crime victims, including medical care, counseling, and legal 
services. For each of the 10 fiscal years after enactment, the 
bill would set aside 5 percent of the amounts available in the 
Crime Victims Fund for those grants (spending from that fund is 
considered direct spending).
    CBO projects that all balances and new deposits into the 
Crime Victims Fund will be spent under current law (mostly for 
existing grant programs); thus, enacting the bill would not 
significantly affect outlays from the fund in any year from 
2018 through 2027.
    Because enacting the bill would affect direct spending, 
pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any 
such effects would be insignificant in any year. Enacting the 
bill would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 1870 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 1870 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

               Regulartory and Paperwork Impact Statement

    Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the 
Senate requires each report accompanying a bill to evaluate the 
regulatory and paperwork impact that would be incurred in 
carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that S. 1870 will 
have minimal impact on regulatory or paperwork requirements.

                        Executive Communications

    The Committee has received no communications from the 
Executive Branch regarding S. 1870.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In accordance with Committee Rules, subsection 12 of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate is waived. In the 
opinion of the Committee, it is necessary to dispense with 
subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate 
to expedite the business of the Senate.