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Lankford Wants Congress to End Fake Budget Gimmick that Withholds Money from Crime Victims

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today issued the following statement after he supported an amendment by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) to the VOCA Fix Act to prevent Congress from using a budget gimmick to raid the Crime Victims Fund (CVF) for unrelated spending. The CVF collects criminal fines and penalties and is intended to help victims of crimes and crime prevention.

“Year after year, Congress has diverted the Crime Victims Fund away from crime victims and instead has used it to offset unrelated spending to make the budget numbers look better. That is not doing the right thing, the right way,” said Lankford. “Our national debt is speeding toward $30 trillion. Hide-and-seek tactics that fake savings make the problem worse. I have strongly opposed using budget gimmicks at all, but shifting money away from crime victims is especially disturbing. Congress should find real savings and fully fund the causes of crime victims with the Crime Victims Fund.” 

Lankford supports the VOCA Fix Act to provide funding for the CVF and supports that funding being used for its intended purpose. Toomey’s amendment would prevent consideration of any provision that contains a CHIMP to ensure the CVF disburses at least the three-year average of receipts. Lankford has railed for years against the practice of “changes in mandatory programs,” a budget gimmick known as “CHIMPs,” from being used to offset other spending and call it “savings.” He has spoken on the floor about CHIMPs and budget gimmicks in the broken budget process many times.