Bipartisan Opposition to Elimination of Funding for Legal Services Corporation

March 16, 2017
Press Release

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) reacted today to the proposed elimination of funding for Legal Services Corporation (LSC) in the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget.

“Legal Services Corporation helps ensure equal justice under the law. It helps military families, homeowners and renters, families with children, farmers, the disabled, the elderly and many others across the country.  More than 60 million Americans are eligible for LSC assistance,” said Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN). “Our justice system is the envy of the world, but we know it takes professional legal aid to navigate it.  If you are low-income and cannot afford legal representation, you are not going to be able to successfully work against a private attorney on the other side. LSC funding is also essential for the orderly administration of justice.  Large numbers of unrepresented citizens overwhelms state courts and has negative consequences on the effective and efficient operation of the courts.  Congress must not eliminate funding for LSC.”

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) said, “While working towards a balanced budget and cutting government waste remains an utmost priority, Legal Services Corporation’s FY 2016 budget allocation was less than one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget. We cannot balance the budget to the detriment of supporting access to justice and civil legal aid—an investment that has worked for communities across the country since 1974. Funding the civil legal aid programs provided by Legal Services Corporation is an essential investment that not only reduces government spending but also works for countless of disadvantaged Americans across the country– including in Pennsylvania. Funding to LSC should not be eliminated.”