2018 Recent Vote
Representatives Jason Smith (R-MO) offered an amendment to the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 2019, which limits attorneys’ fees in citizen suits under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. Specifically, the amendment prohibits the recovery of legal fees for settlements in cases against the federal government. This change would remove critical incentives the citizen suit provisions and especially harm low-income communities seeking legal representation to enforce these environmental laws. The proposed changes also disincentivizes the quick resolution of citizen suits, increasing litigation costs for both plaintiffs and the government. On July 18, 2018, the House approved the Smith amendment by a vote of 215-199 (House roll call vote 357). NO IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE.