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April 28, 2016

U.S. Chamber Applauds House Efforts to Bar Diverting Settlement Money to Third-Party Groups

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 Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law holding a hearing on the “Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016,” (H.R. 5063):

“Federal enforcement officials should be motivated by a search for justice, not by how much money they can generate for their office from settlements.

“Today’s hearing is an important step toward ensuring that prosecutors make decisions in the public interest, not for their own personal or political interest.

“Congress alone has the power of the purse to appropriate public monies, and this bill marks an important step in restoring that duty.”

In 2015, ILR released Enforcement Slush Funds: Funding Federal and State Agencies with Enforcement Proceeds, a study detailing how permitting federal and state prosecutors to retain billions of dollars in law enforcement settlement money 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 today’s hearing. 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.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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