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Lummis Urges Congress to Update the Endangered Species Act, Take Action on Tax-Payer Funded Litigation

Press Release

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Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo) is scheduled to testify before the House Natural Resources Committee Tuesday during the panel's hearing entitled, "Taxpayer-Funded Litigation: Benefiting Lawyers and Harming Species, Jobs and Schools" The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is supposed to be the nation's preeminent law for the conservation and protection of threatened plan and animal species. Unfortunately, over its lifetime, the ESA has had only a 1% success rate. Tuesday's hearing is to analyze the extent to which litigation has helped or hindered the success of ESA.

Rep. Lummis will lend her expertise, gained through research for her legislation the Government Litigation and Savings Act (GLSA), to Tuesday's panel. GLSA, which passed the House Judiciary Committee this past November, closes a loop hole in the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). Originally intended as a social safety net program that allows for the reimbursement of attorney's fees to seniors, veterans and small businesses when wronged by the federal government, in recent years litigious environmental groups have accessed tax-payer funded EAJA payments despite the clear intent of Congress.

GLSA closes this loophole, and strengthens EAJA reimbursements to the seniors, veterans and small business owners it was always intended to serve.

"Both the ESA and EAJA were created for the right reasons but both have gone wrong over time," Rep. Lummis said. "I am grateful that the Chairman Hastings is taking on the monumental task, and am eager to be helpful in modernizing the ESA while ensuring that EAJA is restored to its original intent."

The hearing will be broadcast live at the following link beginning 8 a.m. MST (10 a.m. EST):http://naturalresources.house.gov/Live/


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