Monday, November 23, 2015

Time for Congress to defund "sue and settle"

By Rick Manning

In July, Representative Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) took on the little known radical environmentalist scam known as “sue and settle” where a green group acting in cahoots with the EPA or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sues the Agency demanding that they apply the law in a new, expanded way that increases the agency’s jurisdiction.

The agency, rather than defending the law, enters into a consent decree with the party who filed the original lawsuit. A judge signs the consent decree without review, since the two “disputing” parties are in agreement. Suddenly, the agency has new, expansive powers to wield against job creators. And then for the kicker, taxpayers have to foot the legal bills of the attorneys who filed the suit.

The Westmoreland defund amendment to the Interior Department appropriation bill would have rolled back this abuse of taxpayer funds by denying the payment of attorney fees in ‘sue and settle’ cases. This action is needed to stop this Obama Administration orchestrated expansion of executive power……. As Westmoreland noted in his July 7 floor speech, “Between 2009 and 2012, the EPA chose not to defend itself in over 60 of these lawsuits from special interest advocacy groups. Those 60 lawsuits resulted in settlement agreements and in the EPA’s publishing more than 100 new regulations.”…… It is time to shut the door on Obama’s sue and settle loophole……To Read More…

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