Omnibus Gives Tribal Nations Access to the Crime Victims Fund
The bipartisan fiscal year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which the U.S. House passed today, includes a provision that for the first time provides direct access for tribal governments to the Crime Victims Fund (CVF).
"As Members of Congress, we have an obligation to meet the safety and justice needs of Indian Country. I am proud that we are taking a big step forward today by allowing tribal nations, whose communities suffer from the highest rates of victimization in the country, to directly access the Crime Victims Fund and build a better network of support and services for survivors," Representative Betty McCollum, Democratic co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus said.
“It’s unfortunate that Indian country has some of the highest crime rates in America. I am pleased that this provision was included in the Fiscal Year 2018 omnibus so that the federal government and the Justice Department can do more to fulfill their responsibility to combat crime and protect victims in Native communities. This provision allows for a three percent directive of the Crime Victims Fund to ensure tribal members receive quality support in crime recovery,” Representative Tom Cole, Republican co-chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus, said. “I’m proud to work with my colleague Representative McCollum to safeguard our tribal communities and defend their right to have quality law enforcement and judicial protection.”
Representatives McCollum and Cole offered a bipartisan amendment to establish a CVF set-aside for tribal nations during the House Appropriations Committee markup of the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill, which the Committee passed on a voice vote. The omnibus provision is modeled on that amendment, and allocates three percent of the CVF to ensure that tribal nations can provide their communities with the high-quality recovery service that the CVF supports across our nation.
"Native families and communities will benefit tremendously from the supports that this funding will provide. I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, especially my Congressional Native American Caucus co-chair Representative Tom Cole, for working with me to include this vital provision in the final spending deal,” Representative McCollum said.