June 28, 2012
As ordered reported by the House Committee on the Judiciary on November 17, 2011
H.R. 1996 would make several amendments to the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), which allows plaintiffs to recover attorneys’ fees and other costs from the federal government when they prevail in a case against the government. Specifically, the legislation would increase the cap on hourly attorney rates, restrict who is eligible to receive EAJA awards, and impose new reporting requirements on the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS).
Based on information from affected federal agencies, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1996 would cost about $95 million over the 2013-2017 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. Enacting the legislation also could affect direct spending by agencies not funded through annual appropriations; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. CBO estimates, however, that any net increase in spending by those agencies would not be significant. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.
H.R. 1996 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.