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house Bill H.R. 995

Should Federal Agencies’ Legal Settlements be Posted Online?

Argument in favor

As a matter of transparency, information about federal agencies’ settlements should be available online. This would bolster accountability, ensure that interested parties can find this information, and serve to organize this information in a central repository.

Rebekah 's Opinion
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02/13/2019
Transparency is the first requirement of good government. Stop allowing agencies to hide their corrupt deals with those they are sworn to regulate. Stop Trump from putting career lobbiests in charge of the agencies they have been fighting their whole lives.
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Matthew's Opinion
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02/13/2019
Transparency is the foundation of good government, and something we have failed to strengthen recently in such chaotic times.
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Gregory's Opinion
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02/13/2019
Let the information flow freely. The american people need to know how corrupt there leaders are.
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Argument opposed

The two sources of funds for paying federal agencies’ settlements — the Judgement Fund and agencies’ respective budgets — are publicly available, so interested parties can already find agency settlement information if they know where to look.

Thelma's Opinion
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02/13/2019
This information is already available. Since the bill is written by a Republican, I suspect there is more to this bill than meets the eye. Address climate change, get rid of Citizens United, restore separated families - do something more important than this please!
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Meri's Opinion
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02/14/2019
Let’s start at the lowest of the low and make public all the money our tax dollars have been spent on bailing out elected officials for sexual wrongdoing, from grabbing to sexual assault. Redact victim information and make public every man or woman who has used the politician protection slush fund to hide their wrongdoing. I’m referring to from the first protective dollar used to the last. One Bill, one issue. Elected officials at work, behinds in seats, sleeves rolled up, WORKING. Strip yourselves of your many self-granted entitlements and do your jobs. Most of you are self-serving disgraces.
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Livia 's Opinion
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02/14/2019
Why would we need to do anything like that, we have enough leaks that you can drowned in it. Everything gets out, who do you believe. I basically don’t trust anyone, not a Democrat not a Republican. I believe one thing, I believe we have a president who is trying to protect our country
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house Passed February 13th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 418 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedFebruary 6th, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 995?

This bill would require the publication of settlement agreements that executive agencies enter into. The text of these agreements would be posted online, with a copy of the agreement, the names of the parties involved, a description of the claims settled, the amount to be paid and to whom it was paid, the length of the agreement, and how the agreement came about. Additionally, federal agencies would be required to report on any confidentiality agreements and the reasoning for that arrangement.

Impact

Settlements; federal agencies; and parties in settlement agreements.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 995

$0.00
When this bill was introduced last Congress, the CBO estimated that enacting it wouldn’t have a significant effect on the federal budget because most of the required information is already collected during the settlement process, and the cost of making it available online wouldn’t be significant.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Gary Palmer (R-AL) introduced this bill to promote transparency about settlements paid out by the federal government.

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 no cosponsors in the current Congress. Last Congress, this bill passed the House by voice vote without any cosponsors.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / alfexe)

AKA

Settlement Agreement Information Database Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend chapter 3 of title 5, United States Code, to require the publication of settlement agreements, and for other purposes.

    Transparency is the first requirement of good government. Stop allowing agencies to hide their corrupt deals with those they are sworn to regulate. Stop Trump from putting career lobbiests in charge of the agencies they have been fighting their whole lives.
    Like (67)
    Follow
    Share
    This information is already available. Since the bill is written by a Republican, I suspect there is more to this bill than meets the eye. Address climate change, get rid of Citizens United, restore separated families - do something more important than this please!
    Like (16)
    Follow
    Share
    Transparency is the foundation of good government, and something we have failed to strengthen recently in such chaotic times.
    Like (37)
    Follow
    Share
    Let the information flow freely. The american people need to know how corrupt there leaders are.
    Like (22)
    Follow
    Share
    We need transparency on everything. All ethical violations should be listed online, as well. Countable, you could create a whole separate app that identifies all ethical violations created by politicians and officials, and list ethical concerns with proposed legislation. This would be a good partnership with universities.
    Like (14)
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    Its our money.
    Like (14)
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    Yes! Our government. Our money. Our right to know!
    Like (11)
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    Yes. Transparency
    Like (10)
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    Considering the low confidence with Congress with America, this couldn’t hurt, positive move
    Like (9)
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    👍🏻H.R. 995: Settlement Agreement Information Database Act of 2019👍🏻 I’m in support of this House bill H.R. 995 AKA -Settlement Agreement Information Database Act of 2019 which would require the publication of settlement agreements that executive agencies enter into. The text of these agreements would be posted online, with a copy of the agreement, the names of the parties involved, a description of the claims settled, the amount to be paid and to whom it was paid, the length of the agreement, and how the agreement came about. Additionally, federal agencies would be required to report on any confidentiality agreements and the reasoning for that arrangement. As a matter of transparency, information about federal agencies’ settlements should be available online. This would bolster accountability, ensure that interested parties can find this information, and serve to organize this information in a central repository. SneakyPete........ 👍🏻👍🏻YES👍🏻👍🏻. 2.13.19...........
    Like (7)
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    Full transparency for any use of tax money.
    Like (6)
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    It is well past time for the government to be transparent with the American Public. Transparency leads to accountability. Support this bill.
    Like (6)
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    Yes, post the settlements and agreements online. It would keep people honest.
    Like (6)
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    Seems like the transparency we need
    Like (5)
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    Requiring Transparency in government makes a better government. Those in power must not have a way to use that power to benefit themselves, donors, or their political parties. Demand honesty & integrity in government. Corruption in government must not prevail.
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    We the People should be fully informed of the costs of incompetence in our government. Ultimately WE pay those fines, we should know why, and how much in addition to whose fault it is!
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    Absolutely and why not. Accountability.
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    YES. FINALLY AFTER ALL THESE DECADES OF SHADOWY GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES & UNDER MINING THE PEOPLE, WE THE PEOPLE ARE NO LONGER SILENT. TRUMP HAS BEEN SAYING THIS FOR DECADES! WAKE UP PEOPLE. WAKE UP.
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    Transparency!
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    TRANSPARENCY
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