Gardner introduces bill to increase oversight of Treasury Dept. fund used to pay for lawsuits against the federal government

WASHINGTON D.C. – Congressman Cory Gardner (CO-4) is introducing legislation that will require more transparency and scrutiny over taxpayer funds that are frequently used to pay the legal bills of groups that have a habit of suing the federal government.

“Right now, we’ve got a culture where taxpayers not only foot the bill for our clogged up legal system but also for the legal bills of the outside groups that are suing,” Gardner said.  “It is completely unacceptable that there are so few public details about where the funds are going and why, and that is why I have introduced this bill.”

Currently, the Treasury Department administers an unlimited pot of money called the Judgment Fund, which is used to pay some of the legal fees, judgments and settlements against the federal government. Since it was established in 1956, there has been hardly any Congressional oversight of how that money is spent.  In just the last four years, over $5.6 billion of taxpayer money has been paid out of the Judgment Fund.

Gardner aims to change all that.  By introducing the Judgment Fund Transparency Act, he hopes to curb any further abuse of the fund by tracking payments and increasing Congressional oversight of the money. 

To read a copy of the bill, click HERE.

Praise for Gardner’s Judgment Fund Transparency Act:

“Predatory litigators have made a cottage industry of bringing process-based lawsuits against the federal government in cases that affect livestock producers, which allows them to advance their anti-livestock agenda at taxpayers’ expense. Our members, in order to defend their businesses, often end up paying out-of-pocket for personal attorneys (no comma) at the same time that their tax dollars are being funneled to their opponents,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Federal Lands Director and Public Lands Council Executive Director Dustin Van Liew. “The livestock industry fully supports Rep. Gardner’s introduction of the Judgment Fund Transparency Act, a good-governance transparency bill which will serve as a major step forward in the effort to track currently unaccounted-for tax dollars being used to put our producers out of business.”

“The Judgment Fund Transparency Act will help increase taxpayers’ knowledge about how their money is being spent,” said Tom Schatz, President of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.  “On behalf of our more than one million members and supporters, I am glad to endorse Rep. Gardner’s legislation.”


Congressman Gardner is a member in the U.S. House of Representatives serving Colorado's 4th Congressional District. He sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee and is a member of the following Subcommittees: Communications and Technology, Energy and Power, and Oversight and Investigations.

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