Gosar-backed bill requires closer scrutiny of federal lawsuit settlements

U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) issued a statement following last week's House passage of the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act, which he co-sponsored with five fellow legislators.

The original Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) was enacted in 1980 with the intention of reimbursing individuals and small businesses for legal expenses when suing the federal government. The new legislation relates to the disclosure of details being made public online.

Gosar referred to the initial bill as “a well-intentioned law that was meant to protect the little guy (which) has been hijacked by extremist environmental groups (on) the taxpayer dime.”

Since 1995, EAJA payments have dramatically increased, calling for greater accountability in the eyes of the bipartisan contingent which supported the law’s modification.

“The bipartisan legislation passed by the House today sheds some much needed light on an appalling process that has operated in the dark for more than 20 years,” Gosar said. “Special-interest groups shouldn’t be getting rich off American taxpayers by filing frivolous lawsuits. Common sense necessitates that, at minimum, we should track the sources and recipients of these taxpayer expenditures.”

The new legislation will better track how much money is paid under EAJA, and specifically, from which agencies. The measure is supported by various organizations ranging from sports, biking and firearms groups to conservation and cattle interests nationwide.

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