What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : (H.R. 1) On an amendment prohibiting the use of funds provided by a “continuing resolution” (which funded government agencies and programs for the remainder of the year) for a program that reimburses plaintiffs for attorneys’ fees when they successfully sue the federal government. This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs. (2011 house Roll Call 85)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R. 1) On an amendment prohibiting the use of funds provided by a “continuing resolution” (which funded government agencies and programs for the remainder of the year) for a program that reimburses plaintiffs for attorneys’ fees when they successfully sue the federal government. This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.
house Roll Call 85     Feb 17, 2011
Member's Vote
(progressive
or not)
Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) prohibiting the use of funds provided by a “continuing resolution” (which funded government agencies and programs for the remainder of the year) for a program that reimburses plaintiffs for attorneys’ fees when they successfully sue the federal government. This amendment was offered to a continuing resolution funding the federal government through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

Lummis urged support for her amendment: “…This law [allowing for the recovery of attorneys’ fees] has been hijacked by certain groups who use it to sue and recover judgments…There are 14 environmental groups that have recovered $37 million by filing 1,200 lawsuits for which they've recovered judgments and even legal fees under settlements with the federal government, thereby fueling the fire of suing the federal government.”

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) opposed the amendment: “…Equal access to our nation's courts for all Americans is a hallmark of our democracy and our system of justice. Providing attorneys' fees to successful plaintiffs…ensures that the government is held accountable when it overreaches its power….Providing attorneys' fees ensures that powerless, less wealthy individuals who wouldn't otherwise have a voice as a result of their not being wealthy or representing a corporate interest can nevertheless be heard by our government, by our court system; otherwise, they wouldn't have the means.”

The House agreed to this amendment by a vote of 232-197. Voting “yea” were 227 Republicans and 5 Democrats. 185 Democrats and 12 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House agreed to an amendment prohibiting the use of funds provided by a continuing resolution for a program that reimburses plaintiffs for attorneys’ fees when they successfully sue the federal government.

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Issue Areas:
Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss