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H.R. 732 - Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017
Introduced: 2017-10-25
Bill Status: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
 

Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017

(Sec. 2) This bill prohibits government officials from entering into or enforcing a settlement agreement on behalf of the United States (resolving a civil action, a plea agreement, a deferred prosecution agreement, or a nonprosecution agreement) that provides for a payment or a loan to any person or entity other than the United States. The bill provides exceptions to allow payments or loans that: (1) remedy actual harm (including to the environment) caused by the party making the payment or loan, or (2) constitute a payment for services rendered in connection with the case or a payment that a court may order for restitution to victims in certain criminal cases or other persons in plea agreements.

Government officials or agents who violate this prohibition may be removed from office or required to forfeit to the government any money they hold for such purposes to which they may otherwise be entitled.

Federal agencies must report annually for seven years to the Congressional Budget Office about the parties, funding sources, and distribution of funds for their settlement agreements permitted by the exceptions in this bill.

Agency inspectors general must report annually to Congress about any of their agency's settlement agreements that violate this bill.

Full Text


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.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

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

SEC. 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.

    Attest:karen l. haas,   
    Clerk.

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