WASHINGTON, D.C. — Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR), made the following statement today about the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s passage of the “Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016,” (H.R. 5063):
“Advancing this legislation is an important step toward ensuring that federal enforcement officials make decisions in the public interest, not for their own personal or political interest. Enforcement officials should be motivated by a search for justice, not by how much money they can generate for their office and their political allies from settlements.
“Congress alone has the power of the purse to appropriate public monies, and this bill would help to protect that authority.
“We commend the House Judiciary Committee for passing this important legislation, and urge both the House and Senate to swiftly follow suit.”
In 2015, ILR released Enforcement Slush Funds: Funding Federal and State Agencies with Enforcement Proceeds, a study detailing how permitting federal and state enforcement officials to retain billions of dollars in law enforcement settlement money and steer funds to third-party organizations allows the profit motive to trump the public interest and undercuts legislative spending authority. The paper calls for curbing the practice at the federal and state levels.
Dan Lungren, a former U.S. Congressman and California attorney general, testified on behalf of ILR at an April hearing on H.R. 5063. A copy of his testimony is available here.
ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.
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