Westerman Comments on Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Westerman (AR-04) released the following statement Wednesday (September 7) upon passage of H.R. 5063, the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016:
“The Department of Justice has been unilaterally ordering settling parties to give money to special interest groups,” Westerman said. “Not only is this wrong, it is unconstitutional. There is a better way to run our government and restore our constitutional rights. Passage of H.R. 5063 does that and protects future parties from having to hand over money to special interest groups by order of the government. It is a good first step that needs to happen in all government agencies which have imposed overreaching penalties and fines for far too long.”
According to the House Judiciary Committee:
- In just the last two years, DOJ has directed nearly a billion dollars to activist groups entirely outside of Congress’ spending and oversight authority. Evidence shows that activist groups lobbied DOJ for this funding;
- In some cases, these mandatory donation provisions reinstate funding Congress specifically cut. Rather than stop its activity in response to bipartisan concerns, DOJ has doubled down; and
- DOJ’s authority to settle cases includes the ability to obtain redress for actual victims. However, once victims have been compensated, deciding what to do with additional funds extracted from defendants becomes a policy question properly decided by elected representatives in Congress, not agency bureaucrats or prosecutors.