Congressman Steve Cohen

Representing the 9th District of Tennessee

Congressman Cohen Hails House Passage of Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act

February 7, 2019
Press Release
Bipartisan bill will ensure transparent record keeping

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) hailed House passage of the Open Book to Equal Access to Justice Act, a bill he introduced earlier this year with Representative Doug Collins (R-GA).

While managing floor debate on the bill this afternoon for the Democratic side of the aisle prior to House passage, Congressman Cohen argued:

“The Equal Access to Justice Act was enacted to allow Americans to recover attorneys’ fees and costs associated with lawsuits against the federal government.  This has enabled ordinary citizens -- such as veterans, seniors, small business owners, and advocates for clean air and clean water -- to fight unfair or illegal government actions without fear of court costs.

The law has been a success.

In 1995, however, an important reporting requirement was removed from it, which has made it harder for the public to know how much money the government has awarded.

Our bill, the Open Book on Equal Access to Justice Act, reinstates the Equal Access to Justice Act’s tracking and reporting requirements with respect to payments awarded so the American people can have access to this important information.”

Full video of the floor debate and House passage can be seen here.