New Outrage: Republicans and Tea Party Extremists Cut Veterans' Right to Attorneys
“It’s going to adversely affect a lot of veterans” said Ronald Smith, another attorney with long experience before the court. “It would hurt a lot of veterans, that is for sure.”Adopted by 232-197, the budget amendment imposes a seven-month moratorium on all legal fees paid under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA), a Reagan-era law designed to help the little guy battle Washington by making it easier for him to afford an attorney.
But thousands of veterans and elderly found themselves swept under in the process, losing their ability to retain counsel in disputes with government agencies.
Robert Chisholm, a Rhode Island attorney prominent in veterans’ law, told POLITICO: “We’re in the middle of two wars right now and to make it harder for a veteran — fighting for his benefits — to have an attorney is a horrible thing. That’s not what this country is about.”