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Walberg Applauds Judiciary Committee Legislation Incorporating His Civil Asset Forfeiture Reforms

May 19, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07) today applauded the House Judiciary Committee for introducing bipartisan legislation to curb civil asset forfeiture abuse, building on his two-year push to protect the American people's due process and private property rights. The Committee's legislation includes many of the key provisions of the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act (FAIR Act), which Congressman Walberg introduced with Senator Rand Paul in January 2015.

"For two years, I have sounded the alarm about an unjust system that allows the government to seize an individual's private property without filing criminal charges. It's wrong and runs contrary to our nation's constitutional founding principles. I'm encouraged to see the Judiciary Committee move the process forward today by introducing bipartisan legislation mirroring many of the forfeiture reforms I've been calling for, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to get it signed into law," said Congressman Walberg.

"In recent years, there have been several incidents in which innocent Americans have had their property or money improperly seized by law enforcement. While asset forfeiture is a useful law enforcement tool, abuses of it clearly show that reform is needed now to better protect Americans from having their property wrongfully seized. The Due Process Act rightfully reforms civil asset forfeiture to prevent incentives to wrongly seize Americans' property. The bipartisan bill also strengthens protections for Americans who have had their property confiscated by law enforcement and increases the accountability and transparency of this law enforcement tool. I look forward to taking this bill up in House Judiciary Committee soon and thank Representative Walberg who has worked on and championed this important issue for a long time," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte

Congressman Walberg first introduced legislative reforms in July 2014 in direct response to a wave of stories involving innocent property owners having their property seized by federal officials, including a longtime grocer in Michigan, Terry Dehko. In January 2015, he joined with Senator Rand Paul to introduce the comprehensive Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act (FAIR Act), which has strong support from 94 bipartisan co-sponsors and organizations from across the political spectrum.

More Background on Walberg's Leadership on Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform
July 28, 2014: Walberg introduces the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2014. 

July 29, 2014: Walberg speaks on a panel at the Heritage Foundation to discuss civil asset forfeiture reform. 

September 4, 2014: Walberg writes an op-ed in the Washington Post detailing abuse of civil forfeiture.

September 28, 2014: Walberg speaks on the House floor about fellow Michigander, Terry Dehko, whose property was unlawfully seized by the IRS.

January 27, 2015: Walberg and Senator Paul introduce the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration Act.

January 30, 2015: Walberg and Paul write an op-ed for CNN.com about civil forfeiture abuse.

February 17, 2015: Walberg discusses the FAIR Act with the Daily Signal.

February 23, 2015: Walberg discusses the FAIR Act with the Detroit Free Press.

March 31, 2015: Walberg responds to DOJ's new civil asset forfeiture restrictions.

April 30, 2015: Leading small business, taxpayer organizations endorse the FAIR Act.

May 7, 2015: Walberg discusses the FAIR Act with Fox 17.

June 5, 2015: Walberg and Speaker Cotter write an op-ed in the Lansing State Journal highlighting asset forfeiture reform efforts.

June 25, 2015: Walberg testifies before the Judiciary Committee about the FAIR Act.

July 15, 2015: Walberg talks civil asset forfeiture, criminal justice reform at an Oversight Committee hearing.

July 16, 2015: Walberg discusses the FAIR Act with the Detroit News.

July 28, 2015: Walberg speaks about the FAIR Act with the Cato Institute.

Congressman Walberg serves on the House Education and the Workforce Committee as Chair of the Workforce Protections Subcommittee. In addition, he serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. For more information on Walberg's work in Congress visit walberg.house.gov.

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