New Attorney General should investigate Clinton, Uranium One

April 24, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, to investigate the Clinton Foundation’s ties to the Russian company, Uranium One, which donated millions to the foundation, seemingly in exchange for a lucrative U.S. uranium contract:

“Loretta Lynch’s first act as Attorney General should be to launch a full-scale investigation of the Clinton Foundation’s ties to the Russian company, Uranium One. The appearance that Hillary Clinton sold approvals to foreign governments puts a stain on every foreign policy decision she made as Secretary of State. The national security team had to know about this, and went along with it, and the notion that President Obama knew nothing is simply unbelievable. Our national security is now for sale.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Dear Senator Cruz, Trade promotion authority is an unconstitutional fabrication

April 22, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting a Wall Street Journal oped by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in favor of granting trade promotion authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“It is more than disappointing that a man who made his career in Washington, D.C. arguing against the abuse of power by the executive branch would now choose to cede power to that very branch of government which he seeks to lead.

“Trade promotion authority via an executive-legislative branch agreement is an unconstitutional fabrication of the modern administrative state, something Senator Ted Cruz is well aware of. Prior to the Trade Act of 1974 and the New Deal before that, nothing like trade promotion authority can be found anywhere in the constitutional framework surrounding the treaty making process. Cruz has naïvely bought into the idea that Article 2, Section 2 of the Constitution can be averted by simple majorities of both houses to adopt an international trade treaty.

“Meanwhile, real trade treaties, such as the United Kingdom Commerce and Navigation Treaty of 1815, which was a free trade agreement, required a two-thirds Senate majority to be ratified. The only thing that has changed between then and now is the modern Senate’s reckless disregard for constitutional, limited government and the rule of law. Ted Cruz should know better.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Opposition to fast track is the only position for constitutional conservatives

April 21, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in opposition to trade promotion authority for President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“Proponents of the Pacific trade deal face irreconcilable problems that on one hand, they bemoan Obama’s executive regulatory overreach in areas like amnesty, Obamacare, and Net Neutrality, yet, they claim that Congress should cede to the same president an enormous grant of power that eviscerates the advice and consent treaty ratification process. You can’t be pro-Constitution with one press release and in favor of shredding it in the next and call yourself a constitutional conservative.

“It is also almost become a standard talking point for conservative groups that President Obama’s foreign policy has been a disaster, with the China climate deal treaty, the Iran nuclear treaty, and the opening of Cuba serving as prime examples of this president’s failure to stand up as the leader of the free world. Yet, some conservative groups are willing to trust this same failed president to negotiate the rules for the world economy without even the ability to read the treaty that he’s negotiating. This is either abject naiveté or willful blindness of the goals of Obama’s multinational, corporate partners who helped him make the deal.

“What’s more, the big lie that fast track legislation allows Congress to have input in the treaty-making process should never be repeated again. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is 99 percent completed after almost 5 years of negotiations. The time for a fast track bill might have been at the beginning of that process, not at its conclusion.

“Finally, Obama is under no legal compunction to do anything that Congress requests. The proof lies in the rejection by his of a demand by the majority of the Senate and House to include currency manipulation language in the trade deal, creating an avenue for China to dock into the trade agreement at a later date without ever reconciling their supposed currency manipulation. The key trade issue between the U.S. and China and other nations is currency and price competition.”

Attachments:

Americans for Limited Government letter to Rep. Tom Emmer opposing fast track, Feb. 25, 2015 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LettertoEmmerandHouseGOP2-25-15.pdf

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Hatch, Ryan capitulate to big labor to move trade authority

April 16, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement to the announcement that trade promotion authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership will be tied to passage of trade adjustment assistance for the same deal:

“Orrin Hatch and Paul Ryan have just agreed to passing trade adjustment authority as precondition to getting Democrat votes for fast track trade promotion authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Congressional Republicans should reject this big labor giveaway, which puts the GOP in the untenable position of funding organized labor in order to get to 60 votes in the Senate on the trade deal. It is time to put a stake through the heart of Obama’s fast track dreams, and deny him the opportunity to rewrite the economic rules of the world.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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GOP’s managed trade death wish poised to advance

April 13, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to the imminent introduction of legislation in the Senate that would grant Obama fast track trade promotion authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“It is hard to imagine that a political party could have more of a death wish than Senate Republicans are exhibiting as they plummet forward with consideration of giving President Obama fast track trade authority for a managed trade agreement.

Here is what Brent Bozell, conservative leader from ForAmerica says about fast track, ‘There is no way that Congress should trust President Obama with the enormous grant of constitutional authority that Trade Promotion Authority or ‘fast track’ represents, and it would be the height of insanity to reward Obama’s abuse of power over the past six years by giving him the pathway to rewrite the economic rules for the world. Any treaty Obama signs should be subjected to the full scrutiny demanded by the U.S. Constitution, that is why Congress should reject giving this President fast track trade authority.’

“The irony of fast track is that President Obama will gain the ability to rewrite the rules for the world’s economy through the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Republicans are united in opposition to the way President Obama has been using his pen and phone to expand the size and scope of government, yet Senator Hatch seems intent on allowing him to rewrite regulatory rules of the world overriding existing law.

“One example is the President’s inclusion of immigration law changes in the law in spite of the bi-partisan opposition to that approach. Passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership which is assured should fast track legislation become law, legally opens the doors for increased numbers of foreign white collar workers over Congress’ previous objections. This is why NumbersUSA has recently announced that it is urging a no vote on fast track legislation.

“What is most frustrating is that Hatch clings to the past notions and talking points about free trade in justifying handing this power over to Obama ignoring the obvious, the TransPacific Partnership is a regulatory deal, not a free trade deal. At best it is a managed trade deal where those multi-nationals who played ball with Obama politically in America got a seat at the table so their international interests were moved forward.

“This type of crony capitalism is resisted by Republicans in their rhetoric, but rubber stamped by anyone who supports giving this President fast track.

“Should Republicans make the mistake of passing fast track and then the Trans-Pacific Partnership, they will have handed Obama the pen to fundamentally change America, be attacked by labor unions and the Democratic Party for killing American jobs, and their corporate buddies will fund those ads with the dollars they push into the Democratic Party coffers to hedge their bets against a change in leadership.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Senate Republicans fail to pay for $141 billion Medicare doc fix

April 15, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting the U.S. Senate for voting not to pay for repealing the Medicare sustainable growth rate:

“The Senate Republican majority could not even do a measly $15 billion a year in spending cuts elsewhere in the budget to pay for the $141 billion Medicare so-called doc fix. It was a no brainer. If you’re going to blow a $141 billion hole in the deficit, you pay for it. Previous doc fixes had been paid for. Why not this one?

“It is sad to learn that the energetic promises from some Republicans in elections about cutting the size and scope of government are only valid when they are in the minority. It is time that their actions match their campaign rhetoric.”

Attachments:

Senators who voted against paying for the $141 billion doc fix at http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=114&session=1&vote=00139 :

Alexander (R-TN)

Baldwin (D-WI)

Bennet (D-CO)

Blumenthal (D-CT)

Booker (D-NJ)

Boxer (D-CA)

Brown (D-OH)

Cantwell (D-WA)

Capito (R-WV)

Cardin (D-MD)

Carper (D-DE)

Casey (D-PA)

Cassidy (R-LA)

Cochran (R-MS)

Collins (R-ME)

Coons (D-DE)

Cornyn (R-TX)

Donnelly (D-IN)

Durbin (D-IL)

Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)

Gillibrand (D-NY)

Graham (R-SC)

Hatch (R-UT)

Heinrich (D-NM)

Heitkamp (D-ND)

Heller (R-NV)

Hirono (D-HI)

Kaine (D-VA)

King (I-ME)

Klobuchar (D-MN)

Leahy (D-VT)

Manchin (D-WV)

Markey (D-MA)

McCaskill (D-MO)

McConnell (R-KY)

Menendez (D-NJ)

Merkley (D-OR)

Mikulski (D-MD)

Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)

Nelson (D-FL)

Perdue (R-GA)

Peters (D-MI)

Reed (D-RI)

Reid (D-NV)

Sanders (I-VT)

Schatz (D-HI)

Schumer (D-NY)

Shaheen (D-NH)

Stabenow (D-MI)

Tester (D-MT)

Tillis (R-NC)

Udall (D-NM)

Warner (D-VA)

Warren (D-MA)

Whitehouse (D-RI)

Wyden (D-OR)

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Senate hearing on incomplete fast track trade bill imminent

A heretofore secret hearing is being held on a secret bill to enable expedited passage of a secret treaty. Only in D.C.

April 14, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to a Politico Pro report that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) would hold an April 16 hearing “regardless” of whether legislation granting trade promotion authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership has been introduced:

“Senator Orrin Hatch apparently plans to hold a hearing that has not been officially announced on a trade promotion bill nobody has seen yet because it’s not finished, on a Pacific trade deal that nobody can read because it’s secret.

“Doubling down on Nancy Pelosi’s you’ll have to pass it to read it declaration on Obamacare, Senate Republicans are raising the absurdity that is Washington, D.C. by holding a Senate Finance Committee hearing on providing Obama fast track trade authority without the ability to even examine a bill. Fast track limits the constitutional requirement for treaty ratification to a simple majority rather than a two-thirds Senate vote requirement.

“The controversy is over a 99 percent completed trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. A trade deal which is so hush-hush that Obama officials limited briefings on environmental portions of it to staff with secret or above clearance levels. It is shameful that Republicans have not only backed away from requirements to have bills posted in advance of votes so the public has the opportunity to read them, but this new blind committee hearing process rivals the opaqueness of the Pelosi-Reid reign.”

Attachments:

“Hatch hopes for TPA bill tomorrow,” Politico Pro, April 14, 2015 at https://www.politicopro.com/go/?wbid=51642

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government Foundation at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG Foundation President Nathan Mehrens.

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ALG Foundation releases study on pathway to free market agriculture

April 13, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government Foundation released a report today by Dr. J. Wesley Burnett of the College of Charleston detailing some of the federal government barriers obstructing the growth of a thriving agriculture sector.

Nathan Mehrens, president of the foundation explained, “Agriculture is one of the great drivers of the American economy, and is fundamental to our nation’s self-sufficiency. We decided that it was important to take a look at federal government actions that negatively influence a farmer’s capacity to thrive, so that a pathway can be forged to remove these barriers and create a consensus on how to establish an agriculture sector that is less government dependent in the future.”

Burnett’s report details environmental, tax and the impact of foreign subsidies on the U.S. farmer pointing to efforts by Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) and Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from dramatically expanding their reach to every puddle and irrigation ditch on the family farm.

Titled, “Moving to a Free Market Agriculture Policy,” Burnett praises the 2014 Farm Bill for eliminating direct farm subsidies and making, “strides in moving these agriculture subsidies toward a more market based environment.”

While noting that the current shift to complete reliance on a subsidized crop insurance system is a step in the right direction, Burnett calls for further reductions in these federal government supports to move the system closer to a free market.

Burnett also pointed to an innovative approach to ending federal government sugar subsidies championed by Representative Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) known as zero for zero. Yoho’s approach would have the U.S. end sugar subsidies but only upon agreement through international negotiations from other major sugar exporters to similarly end their support systems.

Yoho’s triggered end to sugar price manipulation by foreign producers both protects U.S. producers from the market distorting effects of foreign subsidies while giving U.S. negotiators an already approved promise to end price floors.

Mehrens argues that, “Burnett’s work lays the groundwork for a series of congressional actions that can be taken now to end many of the federal government policies that artificially increase the costs of doing business for farmers and by ending these costly barriers, open the doors to moving aggressively toward a more free market based agriculture policy.”

Dr. Burnett currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Economics Department at the College of Charleston. Dr. Burnett’s research emphasizes the applications of applied microeconomic theory to solving and analyzing problems in agricultural and resource economics and policy. Before arriving at the College of Charleston, he served three years on the faculty at West Virginia University. Dr. Burnett holds a MA and PhD of Agricultural and Applied Economics from the University of Georgia.

Attachments:

“Moving to A Free Market Agriculture Policy,” By Dr. J. Wesley Burnett, PhD on behalf of Americans for Limited Government Foundation, April 2015, at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Free-Market-Agriculture-Policy-Report.pdf

“Conservatives develop pathway for free market agriculture minus big government subsidies,” By Alex Swoyer, April 13, 2015, at http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/04/13/conservatives-develop-pathway-for-free-market-agriculture-minus-big-government-subsidies/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government Foundation at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG Foundation President Nathan Mehrens.

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Economy slows as labor force contracts—again

April 3, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to the latest economic and jobs numbers:

“This week’s double whammy of bad economic news with the Atlanta Fed’s first quarter growth estimate down to 0 percent and the abysmal jobs report showing only 34,000 more people are working while 277,000 left the labor force effectively puts the brakes on recovery talk. The real question, seven years after the financial crisis, is whether we have begun a slide into a new recession. The malaise that engulfs our labor force has not been seen since the participation rate was 62.7 percent in February 1978, 37 years ago.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick manning.

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ALG urges votes to protect the Internet with Sen. Mike Lee amendments

March 26, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today urged the U.S. Senate to hold up or down votes on amending the budget resolution to include S.Amdt. 751 and S.Amdt. 856 offered by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah):

“The Internet is the great democratizer of speech around the world. The amendments offered by Senator Mike Lee are about protecting the free and open Internet from two separate but equally important threats: foreign domination and excessive government regulation.

“The first amendment will guarantee that any proposal to transition Internet governance over the domain name system from Commerce Department oversight will require Congressional assent, giving proper oversight to any administration proposal. This will protect the domain name system from any potential foreign capture and protect the free and open Internet — everywhere.

“The second will roll back the Federal Communications Commission’s alarming change to the Communications Act, applying Title II to Internet broadband, and assure that only Congress has the power to make such a change to law. Whatever the merits of so-called net neutrality, it is not up to the executive branch to regulate the Internet at will, which is what happened here. It’s an awful precedent, and it is up to Congress to assert its legislative prerogatives here.

“The Internet may be free but that freedom is also quite fragile, and it would be naïve for this Congress to ignore these obvious threats to it. Votes should be allowed on Senator Lee’s amendments.”

Attachments:

S.Amdt. 751, To establish a spending-neutral reserve fund to support legislation maintaining United States oversight over functions of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and preventing the United States from transferring such Internet responsibilities, at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Lee-856-Net-Neutrality.pdf

S.Amdt. 856, To establish a spending-neutral reserve fund to support legislation preventing the Federal Communications Commission from reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers under title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and from implementing other ‘‘net neutrality’’ provisions, at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Lee-856-Net-Neutrality.pdf

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (703) 383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick manning.

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