Press Releases

Hensarling Urges Congress to Stop Obama Administration Slush Funds


Washington, September 7, 2016 -

WASHINGTON- Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) delivered the following statement on the House floor today in support of H.R. 5063, the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act:

Mr. Chairman, our Constitution is under assault, so I rise today in support of H.R. 5063, the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act.

A nearly two-year long investigation jointly conducted by the Financial Services Committee, which I have the privilege of chairing, and the Judiciary Committee chaired by Mr. Goodlatte, the sponsor of this legislation, has shockingly revealed that the so-called Justice Department is not only pushing – but even requiring –some defendants in settlements to send the fines not to victims, not to the U.S. Treasury, but instead to political allies of the Obama Administration.

As one commentator wrote:  “Imagine if the President of the United States forced America’s biggest banks to funnel hundreds of millions – and potentially billions – of dollars to the corporations and lobbyists who supported his agenda.” 

Mr. Chairman, there’s nothing to imagine. It’s real.  It’s happening.

Mr. Chairman, our Committees’ investigation uncovered that the Obama Justice Department has done exactly this.  They have used mandatory donations to direct as much as $880 million to political organizations that just so happen to be allies of the Obama Administration.

Now, I might expect to see such a corrupt practice in a place like Russia.  But, in the United States of America?  How could this possibly be legal?

These payments occur entirely outside of the transparent and accountable Congressional appropriations and oversight process – a clear violation of Congress’ Article I power of the purse, according to Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution.  By allowing for direct payments to non-victim, third-party political organizations, the Justice Department is trampling upon the Constitution, threatening due process, threatening separation of powers, and threatening checks and balances. 

Mr. Chairman, there is simply no justice to be found in the Obama Justice Department.

I also note the sheer hypocrisy of what the Administration is doing.

While self-righteously claiming to be “tough on the big banks” and for “protecting consumers,” the Obama Justice Department’s special deals for big banks actually give the banks double credit or more toward their penalties for each “donation” made to their political allies.

This means these big banks could erase potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in federal penalties this way.  Not to mention, avoid giving the money to actual victims. 

Using cash to reward your political allies instead of helping victims who have been genuinely wronged is the absolute epitome of what is unfair and wrong about this Administration.

I urge all Members to protect the Constitution and to vote for H.R. 5063, the Stop Settlement Slush Fund Act and I yield back the balance of my time. 


Print version of this document