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Eliminate LSC and Other Programs, Says Republican Study Committee in "Operation Offset" Budget Report

Friday, September 30, 2005

  • The Brennan Center's Legal Services E-lert
  • Source: Montana > Pro Bono Connect

A recent report issued by the Republican Study Committee (RSC), a group of nearly 100 conservative House members, calls for the elimination of all federal funding for the Legal Services Corporation. U.S. Representatives Mike Pence (R-IN), RSC's chairman, and Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), RSC's budget and spending task force chairman, issued the 23-page report on September 21, 2005. The report -- called "Operation Offset: RSC Budget Options 2005" -- urges Congress and the President to eliminate federal expenditures as far-ranging as Medicaid and Medicare, graduate school student loan subsidies, foreign aid, the National Endowment for the Arts, matching grants for presidential candidates, and LSC. The report asserts, "LSC has a long history of legal abuse and fraud, including providing resources for individuals to sue the government for more generous federal benefits." The report comes as Congress and President Bush are struggling to come to terms with how to finance the massive rebuilding effort in the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. The editorial board of D.C.'s conservative newspaper, The Washington Times, endorsed many of the report's recommended cuts, including the elimination of LSC. Don Saunders, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association's director of legal services, says, "The RSC is the most conservative, right-wing group in Congress, and it's the same group that called for LSC's elimination in 1995. The defeat of the Stearns Amendment in the House and the recent approval of the Harkin Amendment in the Senate underscore the fact that there is a strong bipartisan support for LSC."

Republican Study Committee report on file with Brennan Center. Based on original reporting by Brennan Center staff.

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