By: Archana Naresh
February 16 2021
President Joe Biden has not changed the rules about settlement payments being paid to third parties.
President Joe Biden has not changed the rules about settlement payments being paid to third parties.In 2017, Republican Bob Goodlatte sponsored the bill known as the "Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017." The bill aimed to stop third parties from receiving settlements instead of victims. The bill never became law, but it was accepted as an official agency rule. In 2017, the then Attorney General released a memo stating, "It has come to my attention that certain previous settlement agreements involving the Department included payments to various non-governmental, third-party organizations as a condition of settlement with the United States. These third-party organizations were neither victims nor parties to the lawsuits. The Department will no longer engage in this practice." The rule came into effect in December 2020. However, several unreliable sources such as Fox News have claimed that Biden is reinstating a "controversial" Obama-era practice that allows defendants to pay outside "liberal" groups instead of victims or the government. This is not true, and Fox News does not expand on who or what these "liberal" groups are. Instead, CBS reports that Biden has "ordered the Department of Justice to end its reliance on private prisons," and the Washington Post reports that Biden will "resume wide-ranging scrutiny of troubled police departments nationwide."