What is House Bill H.R. 1033?
This bill would require the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) to annually prepare a report detailing the amount of fees and other expenses awarded by federal courts to nonfederal entities when they prevail in cases against the U.S. It would reinstate a requirement previously included in the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), when it passed in 1980.
Under this legislation, the ACUS would also be required to create a publicly-available searchable online database with information on the cases where fees and expenses were awarded by courts or federal agencies. The ACUS is an independent agency that assists other agencies of the federal government in improving regulatory and other administrative procedures.
People suing the U.S.; federal agencies; the Administrative Conference of the United States.
Cost of House Bill H.R. 1033
A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.
In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Doug Collins introduced this bill to ensure that federal agencies keep an open record of how much they're paying out in legal settlements
and whether the payments are justified:
"People should have recourse to challenge the federal government when it errs, and taxpayers should likewise have access to information about how executive agencies are handling such cases. The Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act protects taxpayers and individual Americans by ensuring that the original law operates effectively and with transparency. This legislation we're introducing better equips Congress and every citizen to hold executive agencies accountable for serving Americans with uprightness."
This legislation has the bipartisan support of eight cosponsors
in the House, including five Republicans and three Democrats. During the 114th Congress this legislation passed
the House by voice vote but wasn't considered by the Senate.
Of Note: According to the office of Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY):
"Congress passed the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) as a means to help individuals, retirees, veterans, and small businesses recover attorney’s fees and costs associated with suing the federal government. Congress intended EAJA to remove a barrier to justice for those with limited access to the resources it takes to sue or defend against the federal government."
(Photo Credit: Flickr user srqpix
/ Creative Commons)
Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act
To amend titles 5 and 28, United States Code, to require the maintenance of databases on, awards of fees and other expenses to prevailing parties in certain administrative proceedings and court cases to which the United States is a party, and for other purposes.