Washington – Congresswoman Liz Cheney released the following statement regarding House passage of H.R. 752, the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act.

“The Equal Access to Justice Act was originally enacted to ensure the public could hold federal agencies accountable. Unfortunately, over the past several years the process has been repeatedly abused by environmental extremists who have used the program as their personal slush fund by filing frivolous litigation restricting access to federal land in Wyoming. These organizations are able to hide their abuse of EAJA because the law currently lacks adequate transparency requirements. Wyoming taxpayers deserve to know how their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent. That is why I joined my colleagues to introduce the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act, which strengthens the transparency requirements of EAJA.

“Today’s House passage of the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act is a welcome step in the right direction and I hope the Senate will quickly pass this bipartisan bill so we can send it to the President and provide needed transparency for taxpayers in Wyoming.”

Background:

  • The Equal Access to Justice Act was enacted in 1980 to ensure private citizens could obtain legal representation against the federal government should an injustice occur.
  • H.R. 752, the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act requires the creation of a public, online database detailing funds awarded through EAJA to prevailing parties, the agency and party involved in the case, and a description of the claims.
  • Similar legislation passed the House of Representatives last Congress with unanimous support.