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house Bill H.R. 732

Do the Feds Need to Stop Requiring Companies to Give “Donations” to Outside Groups When Settling Lawsuits?

Argument in favor

When corporations settle lawsuits with the federal government that money should go to the actual victims or into the Treasury, not to political activist groups.

Victoria 's Opinion
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02/11/2017
Any funds from lawsuits should go to the PEOPLE it harmed and to the point to make them whole again.
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Raeann's Opinion
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02/25/2017
The Federal Government should not decide who gets the donation!
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Tafinzer's Opinion
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02/26/2017
Yes this is a very corrupt practice and needs to end.
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Argument opposed

It makes sense that federal agencies settling lawsuits mandate that some of the penalties paid by corporations go to nonprofit groups on an approved list.

Matt's Opinion
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02/25/2017
Why do I always have to read the comments in order to find the real reasons to vote against a bill? This site needs to do a better job at representing the nay and yay reasoning.
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Kristen's Opinion
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02/26/2017
This is the problem with the country displayed in one bill. Republicans in Congress are so partisan that even the laws they make attack liberals rhetorically. They are incapable of leading the entire country like this, and the truth is they don't want to lead the entire country. They just want to make the world as nice as possible for their political supporters and fuck everyone else. As a person who yes, identifies as liberal, I don't appreciate at all lawmakers using liberal as some kind of insulting identifier. It's ludicrous that such behavior goes on in what should be a professional setting. Our country is becoming a joke because Republicans see politics as a game to win or lose, and refuse to hear criticism; instead they try to demonstrate their opponents hypocrisy, sow confusion, and otherwise obfuscate the situation. This isn't sustainable. Sure, Republicans won this election. And sure, they can be huge jerks and do whatever they want within their power. But politics shouldn't be based on this idea that if one party wins they should use their power to publicly denigrate their political opponents and haphazardly dismantle anything made by "the other guy. " I'm tired of having to be on the defensive constantly around Republicans. Do they ever tire of attacking people like me? As a trans woman here in NC, I know all too well what it's like to fight against a government that doesn't respect you as a person. And I'm so fucking sick of it. Can you understand what it's like to just be casually accused of being a pedophile/rapist because you want to go pee? Can you see how irrational it is to equate the two? And yet I have to defend myself in the public square, because Republicans refuse to accept the idea that not everything is partisan and that objective facts do exist and those facts support only certain viewpoints. How long before Republicans in Congress start legislating directly against anyone they deem "too liberal?" This legislation normalizes the toxic partisan environment created by Republicans and if we keep wasting time with such petty politics the world will crumble away beneath our feet before we know it. And then there won't be elections to win, no minorities or liberals to mock and attack. Just a broken country that refused to care about ALL of its people.
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Valerie 's Opinion
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02/25/2017
This would keep tobacco company's from having to pay for anti smoking campaigns so I say this would be a bad idea
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What is House Bill H.R. 732?

This bill would prohibit officials from settling lawsuits filed against the federal government in a way that would require a defendant to make a “donation” of money to outside groups as part of the settlement agreement with the federal government. The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) has been requiring banks and insurance companies to “donate” some of the imposed penalty to selected nonprofits, which in some cases are political activist groups like the National Council of La Raza.

Government officials who violate this prohibition could be removed from office or required to forfeit to the government any money that they hold for the settlement or may be entitled to.

The definition of “donation” under this legislation would exclude a payment by a party to the lawsuit for restitution or otherwise fixing the harm caused by whatever conduct led to the settlement agreement.

Impact

Federal employees and agencies that settle lawsuits; nonprofit groups that otherwise would’ve received “donations”; and the DOJ.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 732

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) cited a lack of Congressional oversight regarding how the funds from these settlements are allocated to nonprofit groups as a primary reason for introducing this bill:

“This bill is oversight and action. Congress must not tolerate Justice Department political appointees using settlements to funnel money to their liberal friends. 
This is also an institutional issue. Once direct victims have been compensated, deciding what to do with additional funds recovered from defendants becomes a policy question properly decided by elected representatives in Congress, no agency bureaucrats or prosecutors.”

This legislation has the support of 30 cosponsors in the House, including 29 Republicans and one Democrat.


Of Note: The Wall Street Journal reported that the DOJ’s use of mandatory donation terms actually reduces the total penalty to be paid by a corporation. In the case of Bank of America, a $500,000 donation to La Raza would reduce its total penalty by at least $1 million, whereas providing direct relief to victims would only be counted dollar-for-dollar.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user 401(K) 2013)

AKA

Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017

Official Title

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

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed October 24th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 238 Yea / 183 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law
    IntroducedJanuary 30th, 2017

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    Any funds from lawsuits should go to the PEOPLE it harmed and to the point to make them whole again.
    Like (104)
    Follow
    Share
    Why do I always have to read the comments in order to find the real reasons to vote against a bill? This site needs to do a better job at representing the nay and yay reasoning.
    Like (406)
    Follow
    Share
    This is the problem with the country displayed in one bill. Republicans in Congress are so partisan that even the laws they make attack liberals rhetorically. They are incapable of leading the entire country like this, and the truth is they don't want to lead the entire country. They just want to make the world as nice as possible for their political supporters and fuck everyone else. As a person who yes, identifies as liberal, I don't appreciate at all lawmakers using liberal as some kind of insulting identifier. It's ludicrous that such behavior goes on in what should be a professional setting. Our country is becoming a joke because Republicans see politics as a game to win or lose, and refuse to hear criticism; instead they try to demonstrate their opponents hypocrisy, sow confusion, and otherwise obfuscate the situation. This isn't sustainable. Sure, Republicans won this election. And sure, they can be huge jerks and do whatever they want within their power. But politics shouldn't be based on this idea that if one party wins they should use their power to publicly denigrate their political opponents and haphazardly dismantle anything made by "the other guy. " I'm tired of having to be on the defensive constantly around Republicans. Do they ever tire of attacking people like me? As a trans woman here in NC, I know all too well what it's like to fight against a government that doesn't respect you as a person. And I'm so fucking sick of it. Can you understand what it's like to just be casually accused of being a pedophile/rapist because you want to go pee? Can you see how irrational it is to equate the two? And yet I have to defend myself in the public square, because Republicans refuse to accept the idea that not everything is partisan and that objective facts do exist and those facts support only certain viewpoints. How long before Republicans in Congress start legislating directly against anyone they deem "too liberal?" This legislation normalizes the toxic partisan environment created by Republicans and if we keep wasting time with such petty politics the world will crumble away beneath our feet before we know it. And then there won't be elections to win, no minorities or liberals to mock and attack. Just a broken country that refused to care about ALL of its people.
    Like (218)
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    This would keep tobacco company's from having to pay for anti smoking campaigns so I say this would be a bad idea
    Like (173)
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    I was becoming positive about this until I saw the bit about 'liberal friends'. That comment turns this from a fairness bill to a protectionist agenda which is deadly in this current political environment.
    Like (124)
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    I don't like the part where elected officials get to decide where the money goes. They are too corrupt and will try to game the system or line their cronies' pockets. I'd prefer the money goes dollar for dollar back to the victims or back to the treasury.
    Like (96)
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    Read the bill, People: "Congress must not tolerate Justice Department political appointees using settlements to funnel money to their liberal friends." Vote "NO"!
    Like (78)
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    Actually read the whole thing. It's a political stunt to undermine the liberal agenda. Actually says that.
    Like (72)
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    The Federal Government should not decide who gets the donation!
    Like (65)
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    Stop with the partisan bullshit. Do you guys actually show up to or see the people who donate their time to protest what is currently wrong with this country? Are you trying to pass as much crap right now while you're in power so you can make an impact before you're voted out of office? Here's an idea - how about you work together with the other side of the aisle - those people represent citizens of the United States, too. Are you, in effect, calling citizens of the United States your enemy? That's just plain messed up. There must be a balance of power to prevent one-sided BS like this from happening.
    Like (56)
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    Yes this is a very corrupt practice and needs to end.
    Like (48)
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    What the heck? How can it be called a donation if it's required?
    Like (34)
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    The bill is vague and seems to be ignoring some good reasons for why this policy exists in the first place.
    Like (28)
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    It feels that this process dangerously encourages the politicization of our courts.
    Like (28)
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    Unfortunately, most corporations must be coerced into doing the right thing… Including donations to mitigate The harm they have done. Often times the settlements cannot send funds to the individuals who were harmed because those individuals cannot be identified, may be deceased, or the harm was done to society more broadly. It would however be good to have a rule that limits those donations to 501(c)(3) organizations, so that would exclude those engaging in political activity.
    Like (22)
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    “This bill is oversight and action. Congress must not tolerate Justice Department political appointees using settlements to funnel money to their liberal friends." and "When corporations settle lawsuits with the federal government, that money should go to the actual victims or into the Treasury, not to political activist groups." Wow - at least Countable and our Republican Congress exposed some more federal corruption. This backdoor cronyism needs to stop. "The Obama administration funneled billions of dollars to activist organizations through a Department of Justice slush fund scheme, according to congressional investigators." See: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/03/01/gop-wants-to-eliminate-shadowy-doj-slush-fund-bankrolling-leftist-groups.html
    Like (18)
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    Absolutely. This is blatant cronyism. Frankly it's disgusting. If there are material damages, I'm fully in support of the guilty party paying restitution to make that person or entity whole, but that perfectly justifiable ruling is light years from the immoral forced contributions that this bill rightly attempts to curtail.
    Like (16)
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    This appears to be politically motivated. No surprise
    Like (14)
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    No, they have social responsibility to society to recompense the crimes against the social order.
    Like (11)
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    Any Bill that has "liberal friends" in the language,sponsored by a republican? I say nay!
    Like (10)
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