November 19, 2019

$20 Billion Paid Out for Sue and Settle Equal Access to Justice Act

Many of us have complained for years about the ridiculous amounts of money taxpayers have been on the hook for when environmental groups inundate the Department of Interior, specifically the Department of Fish and Wildlife, for the purpose of putting the Federal Government in a position where they have no option but to settle lawsuits for large sums of money.

In a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke from Raul Labrador, chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, (shown below) the committee is seeking a list of all suits settled between January 1, 2016 until January 19, 2017 (during the final year of President Barack Obama) in order to get some explanation as to why there was an much higher than normal number of lawsuits settled and paid for, in addition to the amount of money paid out by taxpayers…as much as $20 billion.

But don’t get your hopes up that we now have an administration that is going to crack down on this way of life for many who pad their coffers quite easily by employing the methods allowed by law. This administration has already proven itself as being quite dysfunctional, while creating a great smoke screen of blather, causing the blind followers to pay attention to the blather and not discover the actual results.

[pdf-embedder url=”http://tomremington.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/2017-06-07_labrador_to_zinke_re_doi_settlements.pdf”]

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House passes bill to provide transparency in EAJA

*Editor’s Note* – I have not read and studied HR 3279. Here’s the link to the study. The information provided in the article linked to below is the opinion of the Western Livestock Journal. Please take the time to read and understand the bill and how it will completely affect the Equal Access to Justice Act. We know how politics and government work and can never rely on their or the news’ information.

When spending money, most citizens and businesses know and keep records on how much they pay and to whom. That hasn’t been the case for almost 20 years for the government, at least in the case of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). In an attempt to remedy that situation, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill, HR 3279, the “Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act,” on Dec.1 that would reinstate requirements that federal agencies track and report the attorney fees awarded under the EAJA. The legislation passed by a unanimous voice vote.

Source: House passes bill to provide transparency in EAJA | Western Livestock Journal

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Sue-And-Settle Nets Environmentalist Groups Billions

Readers of my work are mostly familiar with the abuses of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). Just one of the tactics of abuse of this has been properly established is when environmental groups petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to list so many species under protection of the Endangered Species Act, that it is impossible for the USFWS to address all of these requests. Under the rules of EAJA, if the USFWS does not address each request in a timely manner, government coughs up all the legal expenses to the environmental groups. It’s a giant cash cow.

Now we have “Sue-and-Settle”. According to Jillian Kay Melchior at National Review Online, environmentalist groups are raking in millions and costing taxpayers billions of dollars by suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only to have the EPA “settle” the case, therefore bypassing Congressional scrutiny and of course keeping actions out of sight of the public, while blaming the courts.

These environmental groups put together demands for regulations, hundreds of them, and sue the EPA, as allowed by law, to set up such regulations. Once the lawsuits are filed, here’s what National Review Online says happens:

The EPA then settles, negotiating the terms with the environmental groups without including those pesky states or industries sure to be affected by the new regulations. The court approves the consent agreement without analysis, as if it were a simple agreement between private parties. And once a settlement is reached, the court orders the EPA to issue rules according to the terms of its agreement.

Because the EPA is in agreement with the regulations being sued for, instead of fighting against them, they settle. This can only be construed as collusion between governmental and non governmental agencies in pursuit of common agendas.

If this brand of totalitarian suppression isn’t sickening enough, it gets worse. Not only do the new rules get enacted, per order of the court that worked the settlement, but you and I, the taxpayer, pick up the tab.

The costs of implementing these new rules are also paid for with tax money, the amount of which runs deeply into the billions. Should Congress question any of this, the comeback, evidently, is that the courts are forcing the EPA to do this.

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