NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.R. 732, the “Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017.” This legislation would prevent the Department of Justice (DOJ) from directing millions of dollars to special interest groups.
Currently, when the Department of Justice settles a case, Department officials can require defendants donate money to certain groups, as per terms of the settlement. Often times, these funds do not go to victims, but are awarded to groups that hold the same political ideology as the executive. Under the Obama Administration’s DOJ, officials funneled settlement dollars to a cache of their political allies, absent Congressional authority. Reports noted that millions of these dollars went to organizations such as National Council of La Raza, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Urban League. According to findings by the House Judiciary Committee, nearly half-a-billion dollars of taxpayer funds has been diverted away from victims and directed to groups, just in the last 20 months.
This legislation prohibits DOJ officials from devising settlement agreements that require donations to activist groups that are preferred by the Administration. By blocking these settlement terms, H.R. 732 restores the power of the purse function, as enshrined in Article I of the Constitution, back to the oversight of the Congress.
Roll call votes on H.R. 732 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “Yes” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.