Take Action - Bill to Limit Inappropriate Federal Funding of Environmental Lawsuits Introduced!
Contact Your Member in Support of the Legislation Today!
U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Vice Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, and Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Chairman of the Senate Western Caucus jointly introduced the Government Litigation Savings Act (H.R.1996 and S. 1061), legislation that prevents abuse of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) by large environmental groups and others who frequently challenge the federal government in court. As you are no doubt aware, some organizations often sue to limit or eliminate even the most responsible access to public lands, and recoup litigation costs through EAJA.
EAJA was passed as a permanent appropriation in 1980 in order to help individuals, small businesses and non-profit organizations with limited access to financial resources defend themselves against harmful government actions. EAJA allows for the reimbursement of attorney’s fees and costs associated with suing the federal government. When operating correctly, EAJA allows plaintiffs who sue the federal government to recover part of their attorney’s fees and costs if they “prevail” in the case. Unfortunately, lack of oversight has led to the program being abused and resulting in taxpayer funded lawsuits to restrict access to public lands.
H.R.1996 and S. 1061 would return EAJA to its original intent by instituting targeted reforms on who is eligible to receive EAJA reimbursements, limiting repeated lawsuits, and reinstating tracking and reporting requirements to make EAJA more transparent. Under the Government Litigation Savings Act individual enthusiasts would still be able to access the funds for suits provided they experienced “personal injury” which would include loss of access etc., but large tax exempt organizations with a net worth of $7 million or more, and individuals with a net worth of $2 million or more will no longer be able to access these funds.
Please click the Take Action link below to send an email encouraging your Representative and your Senators to sign on as a cosponsor this important legislation.
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