U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Sunshine is the best disinfectant.”
Well, U.S. Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) are following Brandeis’s advice with the introduction of H.R. 2919, the “Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act.” This bipartisan legislation would reinstate tracking and reporting requirements of payments made under the Equal Access to Justice Act.
This legislation is long overdue and the American Motorcyclist Association and the All-Terrain Vehicle Association thank Reps. Lummis and Cohen for introducing it.
The bill will return the EAJA to its original intent, instituting targeted reforms to reinstate and track reporting requirements intended to make EAJA more transparent.
The lack of transparency and oversight has led to EAJA program abuse by anti-OHV groups using taxpayer funds to file lawsuits. These lawsuits can ultimately lead to restricting responsible motorized access to public lands.
“The Equal Access to Justice Act was a good idea when it passed Congress more than three decades ago,“ said Congressman Lummis. “It remains a good idea today so long as it is operating as Congress intended. Requiring agencies to keep track of what they pay attorneys will help Congress determine if EAJA is working well, or not. I am appreciative of Rep. Cohen’s engagement in this effort, and look forward to working with him and our House colleagues to move this bill forward.”
“Americans have a right to know what their government is doing and their government has a duty to be as transparent as possible,” said Congressman Cohen. “Without adequate reporting, citizen’s rights cannot be fully protected and the government risks failing in its duty to its people. I look forward to working with Representative Lummis to reopen the government’s books to help ensure that all Americans have access to this information.”
Let’s support H.R. 2919 by getting as many cosponsors to push this bill over the top. You can use our easy-to-use alert to send a prewritten message to your representative today.
At the AMA, we wholeheartedly agree with Brandeis, Lummis and Cohen—give us some sunshine!