WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) today introduced the Judgment Fund Accountability Act. The bill calls for an increase in transparency and oversight of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Judgment Fund. The legislation would bar the Treasury Department from using the Judgment Fund to provide payments to thousands of migrants who entered the country illegally. More broadly, it would provide members of Congress and the Public with the ability to see exactly how taxpayer dollars are being spent out of this fund.
The bill is an update to the Judgment Fund Transparency Act, which Sen. Fischer introduced in 2013.
“The crisis at the southern border is worsening by the day, yet the Biden administration is focused on providing illegal immigrants with millions in taxpayer dollars. Reports indicate that the Justice Department has been considering payouts to illegal immigrants amounting to more than four times what the government pays the families of fallen troops when they lose a loved one. This is unacceptable. The American people deserve greater oversight to ensure their hard-earned money isn’t going towards open border policies,” said Senator Fischer.
The Treasury Department’s Judgment Fund is used by the Treasury Department to pay certain settlements when lawsuits are brought against the federal government. Use of this fund has been heavily scrutinized over the last decade for limited accountability, transparency or oversight. This includes the Obama administration’s decision to transfer $1.3 billion from the Judgment Fund to the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2016. The fund is not subject to the annual appropriations process, and lacks binding reporting requirements.
Sen. Fischer’s legislation responds to reports the Biden administration plans to offer migrants who broke the law to come into the U.S. settlement payments up to $450,000 per person. The payments are in response to lawsuits by these individuals against the government. That figure is more than four times greater than the payment families of our fallen servicemembers receive.
In addition to preventing Judgement Fund dollars from going to illegal immigrants, the bill would enact a series of rules to boost transparency and public disclosure payments from the fund.
The bill is cosponsored by Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa), Sen. Capito (R-W.Va.), Sen. Crapo (R-Idaho), Sen. Cramer (R-N.D.), Sen. Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Sen. Cassidy (R-La.), and Sen. Blackburn (R-Tenn.).
Read a one-pager summarizing the bill here.
Read the full text of the bill here.