Friday, December 04, 2015

House passes bill to address abuse of EAJA

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council applaud the House passage of H.R. 3279 Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), requires oversight and transparency of funds awarded under EAJA. Philip Ellis, NCBA president and Wyoming rancher, said the bill is critical to leveling the playing field between private citizens, for which the law was intended, and the vast resources of groups who repeatedly abuse the system. “The lack of oversight and accountability has led to rampant abuse by well-funded radical environmental groups who use EAJA to advance their agendas,” said Ellis. “The simple fact that millions of dollars in taxpayer funds have been awarded, with virtually no accounting of who received the payments is unacceptable.” EAJA was originally passed in 1980 to allow plaintiffs to recover legal fees when they prevail against the federal government in court. However, it has repeatedly been exploited by environmental activist groups which target federal-lands agencies, and ultimately the ranching families who use the lands, at the expense of the taxpayer. From 2001 to 2011, environmental activist groups, some worth in excess of $50 million, have been awarded an estimated $37 million. During the same time period, more than 3,300 cases have been filed by just 12 groups, many of which were frivolous or filed on technicalities...more

 So we'll get more accurate and timely reports on how they are screwing us?  I'll have more to say later, but this does nothing to solve the root problem, and it's a problem the Congress doesn't want to admit exists.

No comments: