What is House Bill H.R. 27?
Cost of House Bill H.R. 27
In-Depth: Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) reintroduced this bill from the 116th Congress to promote transparency about settlements paid out by the federal government. When he introduced this legislation in the 116th Congress, he said:
“Currently, there is no uniform standard for recordkeeping across federal agencies. Most of the public’s access to federal settlement agreement information is primarily issued by press release. This lack of transparency frequently leaves the public and elected officials in the dark about costs and outcomes. The SAID Act would provide overdue transparency and accountability standards to federal settlement agreements.”
A federal fund run out of the Treasury Dept., known as the Judgment Fund, distributes billions annually — including over $4.3 billion in FY 2016, the most recent year for which data is available — to pay financial judgments and awards against the U.S. government on a range of issues. However, while Treasury publishes a yearly report to Congress listing hundreds of payments made through the fund, the report doesn’t include detailed information about the precise reason for each payment.
Additionally, while the Judgment Fund’s payments are publicly searchable on the Treasury website, it isn’t the only source of funds to pay settlements, as agencies may only ask for payment from the Judgment Fund if funds aren’t available from their own appropriations. As a result, any judgments agencies pay for using their appropriations aren’t included in the Judgment Fund’s records.
Republicans have attacked the Judgment Fund as an “unchecked slush fund,” especially after the Obama administration suggested it could be used to make payments promised to insurers under Obamacare after Republicans moved to stop the money from coming out of the Dept. of Health and Human Services (DHS) budget.
This bill has three cosponsors, including two Democrats and one Republican, in the 117th Congress. had one cosponsor, Rep. Van Taylor (R-TX), in the 116th Congress, where it passed the House by a 418-0 vote. In the 115th Congress,, this bill passed the House by voice vote without any cosponsors.
- Sponsoring Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) Press Release (116th Congress)
- CBO Cost Estimate (115th Congress)
- Politico (Context)
Summary by Lorelei Yang
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / alfexe)
Settlement Agreement Information Database Act of 2021
To amend chapter 3 of title 5, United States Code, to require the publication of settlement agreements, and for other purposes.
- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
- senate Committees
- The house has not voted
Committee on Oversight and ReformIntroducedJanuary 4th, 2021
- house Committees