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Okla.'s Coburn wants to shine light on settlements

Published: January 8, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn says he wants to increase the transparency of settlements reached with federal enforcement agencies, saying the real value of settled cases is often not known.

Coburn announced in a press release Wednesday his plans to join Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on a bipartisan bill. Dubbed the “Truth in Settlements Act,” the measure would require more detailed disclosures about settlement agreements that are often reached when federal agencies close investigations.

Coburn says in some cases, the settlement details are kept confidential unnecessarily. In other cases, settlement amounts touted by federal agencies may be misleading because of tax deductions or other “credits” built into the value of the settlement.