Today, the House Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law reviewed H.R. 1996, the Government Litigation Savings Act (GLSA), which reinstates accountability and transparency to taxpayer-funded payments made by the federal government in the name Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). H.R. 1996, authored by Vice Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) (S.1061). H.R. 1996 awaits a committee markup.
"A small percentage of special interest groups with an environmental litigation agenda have had big repercussions for taxpayers and their hard-earned dollars, and for federal land managers just trying to do their job. Getting paid to repeatedly sue federal agencies over technicalities and recovering their attorneys' fees in mass quantities is a job these obstructionist groups take seriously; and their actions are gumming up the works at federal agencies like the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service," Lummis said. "The Government Litigation Savings Act will halt these groups' use of EAJA to push their "stop everything' agenda, and return EAJA to its original intent: to give individuals, small businesses or any other entity who has been wronged by the federal government the ability to seek reimbursement. Contrary to some erroneous comments we heard in today's hearing, the bill does nothing to limit access to the courts for veterans and social security claimants, and in fact explicitly protects the ability of small, financially strapped groups and individuals to receive fair compensation. I am heartened by today's hearing because when you set aside rhetoric, I believe many agree that EAJA has deficiencies that must be corrected."