Letter to Manzullo on H.R. 2282
June 16, 2003
The Honorable Donald Manzullo
Chairman, Committee on Small Business
United States House of Representatives
2228 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Manzullo:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauds your leadership on introducing H.R. 2282, the "Equal Access to Justice Reform Act of 2003." The Chamber strongly supports your efforts to provide for the recovery of attorney fees and costs when small businesses prevail in cases brought against the federal government.
If enacted, the "Equal Access to Justice Reform Act of 2003" would help to level the playing field between small employers and federal agencies. Simply stated, the federal government has enormous taxpayer-funded resources with which to prosecute employers. The practical result of these real-world realities is that small entities, far "outgunned" by the agencies, are under unfair and intense pressure to settle cases, regardless of the merits, simply to end financially crushing litigation. Your common sense and long overdue changes to the laws regarding attorney fee recovery will provide some relief to small business owners, so that if they successfully defend themselves, they can at least recoup their expenses.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector, and region. More than 96 percent of the Chamber's members are small businesses with 100 or fewer employees. On behalf of these small employers, I thank you again for introducing this important piece of legislation and we look forward to working with you in its passage.
R. Bruce Josten
Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
U.S. Chamber of Commerce