“YES” on the Scott Amendment

Tonight, the House will vote on the Scott Amendment to the Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations bill (H.R.5326). The amendment would eliminate the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which was established in 1974 as a successor organization to one of President Johnson’s “Great Society” programs.

Although the program is tasked with providing legal services to those that cannot afford them, it often becomes a legal arm for anti-business and big-government interests. The LSC has a track record of suing job creators and lobbying the federal government for expansion of welfare benefits. The non-profit, taxpayer-funded corporation also has a history of excess, logging expenditures like $14 chocolate desserts and $400 chauffeured rides within cab distance.

Additionally, there are serious questions as to how the money is spent when providing legal services. Twelve percent of the renewal grantees’ files were missing required information and 26 percent of both noncompetitive and competitive grantees’ files were filled out improperly, with data entered in the wrong parts of the application. Moreover, 13 percent of competitive grantees’ evaluation data was missing.

The Heritage Foundation has long supported eliminating the LSC. Not only is the program misused and wasteful, but pro bono legal services are available without taxpayer funding and federal government intervention. Congress should demonstrate they are serious about accountability and overspending by voting to eliminate duplicative and wasteful programs like the Legal Services Corporation.

Heritage Action supports the Scott Amendment and will include it as a key vote on our scorecard. 

Related Links:
Heritage Action’s Scorecard
Terminating the Liberal Agenda
How to Cut $343 Billion from the Federal Budget
Legal Services Fails to Make Case for More Money
Time for Congress to Hold the Legal Services Corporation Accountable
Why the Legal Services Corporation Must be Abolished
The Legal Services Corporation: New Funding, New Loopholes, Old Games