By Ainsley Holyfield, Office of U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, Oct. 25 passed H.R. 469, the Sunshine for Regulations and Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act. Included in this bill is the Judgment Fund Transparency Act which was amended by U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-Benton) to further increase transparency for taxpayers and to ensure terrorist organizations are prohibited from receiving taxpayer funds.
The Sunshine for Regulations and Regulatory Decrees and Settlements Act, with language from Johnson, increases accountability in the regulatory process by providing greater scrutiny of sue-and-settle cases, requires the Department of Justice to release details of payments made through the Judgment Fund and strengthens Congress’ ability to intervene in litigation regarding the constitutionality of federal statutes. Johnson, who is a member of First Baptist Church in Bossier City, spoke on the House floor in favor of this legislation Wednesday evening.
“The United States should be combating terrorism, not funding it with our own taxpayer dollars,” Johnson said in a statement. “Yet previous administrations have used loopholes in the law to conceal payments to rogue nations. Our legislation restores transparency and ensures the federal government is accountable to the people it represents.”
Last year, the Obama administration sent three payments totaling $1.3 billion to Iran to “pay legal settlements.” The State Department also confirmed a payment to Iran of $1.7 billion to settle a case related to the “sale of military equipment.” Per reports, an additional 13 identical payments were found, each totaling $99,999,999, which is just beneath the maximum amount allowed from the Judgment Fund. These 13 payments total $1.3 billion, but it is not clear to whom exactly those payments were made.