UAW Local 2320
House rejects proposal to eliminate LSC funding
Updated On: Sep 11, 2023

On Febuary 16, 2011, the House of Representatives voted to reject an amendment to the Continuing Resolution bill (HR 1) that would have reduced FY 2011 funding for LSC by $324 million. More than 60 Republicans joined all but two democrats in voting against the amendment. The underlying bill, which will fund the US government for the remainder of this year, already reduces LSC funding for the current year by $70 million (16.7%). The government is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution passed last year that will expire on March 4th.

The amendment was offered late Tuesday, February 15, 2011 by Representative Jeff Duncan (R-SC), who claimed that the Legal Services Corporation represented a “trial lawyer bailout”. Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) spoke in opposition to the amendment, chastising the maker of the amendment for engaging in hyperbole that did nothing to further meaningful debate. Representatives Jose Serrano (D-NY) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) also spoke against the amendment, as did Chairman of the Appropriations Committee Frank Wolf (R-VA).

Prior to debate on the Duncan amendment, Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN) offered an amendment that would have reversed the proposed cut of $70 million, restoring FY 2011 funding for LSC to its current level of $420 million. Representatives Schiff, Serrano and Jackson-Lee all spoke eloquently in favor of the amendment, as did Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA). Howver, because he did not propose any offset for the resultant $70 million increase to the bill, the Cohen amendment was ruled out of order under rules previously adopted for debate of the Continuing Resolution bill.

The UAW Legislative office in Washington DC sent a letter to members of the House of Representatives saying that it is “…unconscionable to propose or support the elimination of funding for the Legal Services Corporation, leaving hundreds of thousands of needy Americans with no access to justice.”  To read the full text of the UAW letter, download the attachment.


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