This week's House passage of a bill out of committee to stop an Obama-era "slush fund" policy takes settlement payments away from third parties and gives it back to victims, an Arizona congressman who co-sponsored the legislation said during a recent interview.
"Department of Justice settlements should be used to compensate victims, not activist groups or friends of political appointees," Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said during an Arizona Business Daily email interview.
Franks cosponsored the measure after reviewing the results of the investigation into improper payments to non-victim third parties.
"The Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act, reasserts appropriate and constitutional Congressional authority over the nation’s purse strings," Franks said. "Our nation’s founding generation understood that establishing popular control over government finance would provide an essential check on the Executive Branch."
H.R. 732 passed out of the House Judiciary Committee earlier this week. The legislation would end the practice of the federal government utilizing legal settlements to funnel money from enforcement actions into donations. Introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the act prohibits government settlement agreements that require donations to a third-party group.
This is not the first time Rep. Franks supported the The Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act. He voted in favor of an identical bill in the House last spring. "This bill is very simply about the separation of powers and who has the constitutional authority to determine how certain funds are spent. Congress, and not the DOJ, is responsible and H.R. 5063 addresses this institutional issue in a direct and bipartisan way," Franks told the Arizona Business Daily in May.