From the House Judiciary Committee's hearing schedule for the week, notice of a full committee hearing on Wednesday:
Hearing on: Proposals to Fight Fraud and Protect Taxpayers, including:
- H.R. ____, the "Fight Fraud Act 2009";
- H.R. 1292, to amend Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968;
- H.R. 1667, the "War Profiteering Prevention Act of 2009";
- H.R. ____, the "False Claims Corrections Act";
- H.R. ____, the "Financial Crimes Resources Act of 2009";
- H.R. ____, the "Money Laundering Correction Act of 2009"; and
- H.R. 78, the "Stop Mortgage Fraud Act."
Wednesday 04/01/2009 - 10:00 A.M.
2141 Rayburn House Office Building
By Direction of the Chairman
Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) issued a related news release, "Judiciary Committee Announces Plan to Fight Fraud and Protect Taxpayers." Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) joined in.
We've added links to the bills where available, but there's no text yet for the False Claims Correction Act. Legal author Philip K. Howard of Common Good cited the measure as a potential threat during recent testimony at a Senate Republican Conference hearing on legal reform, saying, "A bill expanding False Claims Act claims would have many pernicious effects, expanding what was originally a system to safeguard against government fraud to a vast range of organizations that receive government funds."
Ted Frank warned against a previous version in this POL post from October 2007, "False Claims Correction Act: another earmark for trial lawyers." Quin Hillyer at the Examiner also laid out the problems with the legislation in a piece last July, "Whistleblowers as mercenaries": "Put forth as an incentive for well-intentioned 'whistleblowers' to report fraud against the federal Treasury, it uses an unusual definition of four little words to open what opponents describe as a host of troubles."
That bill was H.R. 4854, also introduced by Rep. Conyers.