Members of Congress Recognize Importance of ACUS

Contact: Harry M. Seidman
Phone: 202. 480. 2085

Members of Congress Recognize Importance of ACUS

On February 27, 2017, several Members of Congress acknowledged the value and contributions of ACUS during the floor debate preceding the adoption of the bipartisan Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act (H.R. 1033), introduced by Rep. Doug Collins (GA-09) and Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-9). The bill would charge ACUS with keeping data on fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act—a law that authorizes payment of attorney’s fees to a prevailing party in cases against the U.S. government.

Rep. Cohen noted that ACUS is “a highly respected nonpartisan agency which was greatly championed by Justice Scalia.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08) noted that the bill “recognizes the important role that the Administrative Conference of the United States has historically played in helping Congress identify inefficiencies among the Federal agencies” and that “[l]ike the Administrative Conference, H.R. 1033 requires only a modest investment that will result in a very valuable return for all Americans.”

In describing the need for H.R. 1033, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA-06), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stated that “[w]ithout the data this bill requires the Administrative Conference to compile and report, we have nothing more than anecdotal evidence as to whether the act is providing some measure of relief to the financial disincentive to seeking judicial and administrative redress against the Federal Government.”

Following adoption of the bill in the House of Representatives, the bill was sent to the Senate for consideration, where there is also an identical companion bill, S. 378.

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