CCAGW Urges Senate Judiciary Committee to Oppose S. 2428 | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Urges Senate Judiciary Committee to Oppose S. 2428

Letters to Officials

October 18, 2021

Senate Judiciary Committee
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C.  20510

Dear Senator,

It is our understanding the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a legislative hearing on October 21, 2021, to discuss S. 2428, the “False Claims Amendments Act of 2021.”  On behalf of the more than 1 million members and supporters of CCAGW, I ask that you oppose this bill, which would undermine and weaken the False Claims Act (FCA).

Since the FCA was strengthened in 1986, more than $64 billion has been recovered by the Department of Justice, including more than $2 billion in every year since 2009.  Any effort to amend the law must be approached with deliberation and care, particularly in light of the June 16, 2016 unanimous Supreme Court decision in Universal Health Services v. United States, ex rel. Escobar, in which Justice Thomas wrote that the materiality element is “demanding” and “rigorous” and the FCA “is not ‘an all-purpose antifraud statute’ or a vehicle for punishing garden-variety breaches of contract or regulatory violations.”  S. 2428 would undermine several elements of the case by lowering the burden of proof for the government and the evidentiary standards for materiality to the point where a defendant could be considered guilty until proven innocent.  The legislation would also apply retroactively.

Again, I ask you to oppose S. 2428, the False Claims Amendments Act of 2021, during committee consideration.  Should this bill be reported for full Senate consideration, I also strongly recommend your opposition.  All votes relating to S. 2428 may be considered in among those included in CCAGW’s 2021 Congressional Ratings.

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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