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H.R. 732 (115th): Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017


The text of the bill below is as of Oct 25, 2017 (Referred to Senate Committee). The bill was not enacted into law.

Summary of this bill

Source: Republican Policy Committee

H.R. 732 would prohibit government officials from entering into or enforcing any settlement agreement for civil or criminal actions on behalf of the United States if that agreement requires a party to the settlement to make a donation to a non-victim third party. That prohibition would not include payments to provide restitution that directly remedies actual harm caused by the defendant, including harm to the environment.

In the 2013 JP Morgan settlement with DOJ, the bank was offered credit against its settlement obligations for donations to community redevelopment groups. The Citi and Bank of America settlements in 2014 required $150 million in donations to housing non-profits. These donations earned ...


IIB

115th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 732

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 25, 2017

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

AN ACT

To limit donations made pursuant to settlement agreements to which the United States is a party, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017.

2.

Limitation on donations made pursuant to settlement agreements to which the united states is a party

(a)

Limitation on required donations

An official or agent of the Government may not enter into or enforce any settlement agreement on behalf of the United States, directing or providing for a payment or loan to any person or entity other than the United States, other than a payment or loan that provides restitution for or otherwise directly remedies actual harm (including to the environment) directly and proximately caused by the party making the payment or loan, and, to the extent any victim thereof was an identifiable person, suffered by the payee or lendee, or constitutes payment for services rendered in connection with the case or a payment pursuant to section 3663 of title 18, United States Code.

(b)

Limitation on Cy-Près

Amounts remaining after all claims have been satisfied shall be repaid proportionally to each party who contributed to the original payment.

(c)

Penalty

Any official or agent of the Government who violates subsection (a) or (b), shall be subject to the same penalties that would apply in the case of a violation of section 3302 of title 31, United States Code.

(d)

Effective date

Subsections (a), (b), and (c) apply only in the case of a settlement agreement concluded on or after the date of enactment of this Act.

(e)

Definition

The term settlement agreement means a settlement agreement resolving a civil action or potential civil action, a plea agreement, a deferred prosecution agreement, or a non-prosecution agreement.

(f)

Reports on settlement agreements

(1)

In general

Beginning at the end of the first fiscal year that begins after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the head of each Federal agency shall submit electronically to the Congressional Budget Office a report on each settlement agreement entered into by that agency during that fiscal year that directs or provides for a payment or loan to a person or entity other than the United States that provides restitution for or otherwise directly remedies actual harm (including to the environment) directly and proximately caused by the party making the payment or loan, or constitutes payment for services rendered in connection with the case, including the parties to each settlement agreement, the source of the settlement funds, and where and how such funds were and will be distributed.

(2)

Prohibition on additional funding

No additional funds are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection.

(3)

Sunset

This subsection shall cease to be effective on the date that is 7 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(g)

Annual audit requirement

(1)

In general

Beginning at the end of the first fiscal year that begins after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Inspector General of each Federal agency shall submit a report to the Committees on the Judiciary, on the Budget and on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate, on any settlement agreement entered into in violation of this section by that agency.


(2)

Prohibition on additional funding

No additional funds are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this subsection.

Passed the House of Representatives October 24, 2017.

Karen L. Haas,

Clerk.