July 14, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising the House of Representatives led by U.S. Reps. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Doug Collins (R-Ga.) for passing an amendment to the Department of Interior appropriations bill that defunds the practice of sue and settle:
“Sue-and-settle arrangements are where a group sues demanding that the EPA or another agency enforce the law in a new, expanded way and the agency enters into a consent decree with the party, which is signed by a judge. This leaves the agency with new powers under the Clean Air and Water and the Endangered Species Acts. But now, thanks to U.S. Reps. Smith, Westmoreland and Collins and a decisive 226 to 202 vote in the House, this practice will come to an end. Sue and settle is an abomination that has no place under representative government, as it cuts Congress out of the process of amending law.”
Amendment to H.R. 5538, H.Amdt. 1353, U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland at http://amendments-rules.house.gov/amendments/WESTMO_02577160945384538.pdf
At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following:
SEC. ___. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay legal fees pursuant to a settlement in any case, in which the Federal Government is a party, that arises under—
(1) the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.);
(2) the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.); or
(3) the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
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