Washington, DC – House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) and Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Ranking Member Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (D-GA) today released the following statements after H.R. 5063, the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016 passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
|Dean of the U.S. House|
John Conyers, Jr.
“H.R. 5063 is a deeply flawed bill that imposes an abysmal solution to a non-existent problem,” said Congressman Conyers. “Many settlement agreements like those under attack by this legislation have facilitated effective responses to harms caused by reckless corporate actors. The majority’s accusations against the Justice Department’s use of settlement funds have been proven to be completely false. It is my hope that my colleagues in the Senate reject this legislation, should it come to the floor for a vote.”
“This so-called “Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016” is a deeply flawed proposal that would establish sweeping changes to the enforcement of the law by civil enforcement agencies,” said Congressman Johnson. “This misguided bill lets Wall Street off the hook at the expense of homeowners who were misled and severely harmed by the depraved misconduct that gave rise to the mortgage crisis.”
H.R. 5063, the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016, would prohibit settlement agreements that authorize payments to parties not “directly and proximately” harmed by the unlawful conduct of the settling defendant. This undermines the ability of agencies to adequately address unlawful conduct, provide complete restitution for violations of the law, and tailor remedies to address systemic or diffuse harms to unidentifiable victims, the public health, or the environment. By forcing agencies into needless litigation, the bill would waste agency time and resources as well as taxpayer dollars and delay the timely enforcement of the law and the provision of full relief for victims.
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