Congress defunds Obama Internet giveaway in omnibus

December 10, 2014, Fairfax, Va.–Americans for Limited Government president Nathan Mehrens issued the following statement on the just released Omnibus funding legislation:

“We are gratified that the bill includes language by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) which defunds the Obama Administration Internet Giveaway. The proposal also cuts IRS funding and prohibits the continued targeting of conservative groups, and reins in National Labor Relations Board proposals that would allow union ballot stuffing using the Internet among other positive provisions. We are still evaluating the totality of the 1603 pages of the legislation to determine its overall impact, but the inclusion of these three items is certainly good news.”

Attachments:

http://docs.house.gov/billsthisweek/20141208/CPRT-113-HPRT-RU00-HR83sa.pdf

SEC. 540.

(a) None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to relinquish the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration during fiscal year 2015 with respect to Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions.

(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall expire on September 30, 2015.

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Mehrens: No Internet giveaway in omnibus

Dec. 9, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging House negotiators not to include in the omnibus bill section 1090E of an earlier version of the National Defense Authorization Act (the “DOTCOM Act”), which authorizes the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to give away the Internet to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) upon submission of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the transition:

On May 22, the House authorized the Internet giveaway in an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act upon submission of a report by the GAO on the transition of Internet governance. Doing so provides the very Congressional authorization for the Internet giveaway that the President desperately needs in return for very little.

“Fortunately that version of the defense bill did not pass the Senate, so at the moment the President has no authority to perform the transition. But if the DOTCOM Act is included in the omnibus bill, that will change, and even if the GAO says that the transition is a bad idea, there will be nothing to stop the Department of Commerce from performing the giveaway anyway.

“Rather than giving the President the authority to give away the Internet, appropriators should include the Sean Duffy amendment that was included in the House-passed Commerce appropriations bill that defunds the giveaway altogether. There is simply no excuse for members to give away Internet governance in return for a GAO book report.”

Attachments:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:h.r.04435:

SEC. 1090E. NTIA RETENTION OF DNS RESPONSIBILITIES PENDING GAO REPORT.

(a) Retention of Responsibilities- Until the Comptroller General of the United States submits the report required by subsection (b), the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information may not relinquish or agree to any proposal relating to the relinquishment of the responsibility of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (in this section referred to as the `NTIA’) over Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions, and related root zone management functions.

(b) Report- Not later than 1 year after the date on which the NTIA receives a proposal relating to the relinquishment of the responsibility of the NTIA over Internet domain name system functions that was developed in a process convened by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers at the request of the NTIA, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report on the role of the NTIA with respect to the Internet domain name system. Such report shall include—

(1) a discussion and analysis of–

(A) the advantages and disadvantages of relinquishment of the responsibility of the NTIA over Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions, and related root zone management functions;

(B) any principles or criteria that the NTIA sets for proposals for such relinquishment;

(C) each proposal received by the NTIA for such relinquishment;

(D) the processes used by the NTIA and any other Federal agencies for evaluating such proposals; and

(E) any national security concerns raised by such relinquishment; and

(2) a definition of the term `multistakeholder model’, as used by the NTIA with respect to Internet policymaking and governance, and definitions of any other terms necessary to understand the matters covered by the report.

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Mehrens: No union bailout in omnibus

Dec. 8, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging House negotiators to block any bailout of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) that might be included in imminent omnibus spending legislation:

“With the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation projected to be running a large deficit over the next decade, there must be no bailout for big labor in this or any other funding bill during the lame duck session. A 2009 report by Moody’s on the solvency of union run multiemployer pension funds revealed many under 60 percent funded putting them into the government designated ‘critically underfunded’ category. If big labor is truly concerned about the multiemployer pension system, it should negotiate higher contributions in future contracts.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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GOP to authorize Internet giveaway upon NTIA bogus ‘freedom’ certification

“The bill trades a right for a promise that is guaranteed to be broken.”

Dec. 4, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging opposition to H.R. 5737 by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), which authorizes the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to give away the Internet to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) upon “written certification that the Assistant Secretary has received a proposal for relinquishing the responsibilities of the NTIA with respect to Internet domain name functions that ensures… ICANN appl[ies] a standard that is at least as protective of such freedoms as is the First Amendment to the Constitution”:

“We shouldn’t even be having this conversation, when nobody has even made the case for the necessity of the Internet transition. Why is creating a global, unaccountable monopoly for Internet governance so important? It is not up to Congress to make that case for the President. It is up to Congress to stop him, because once the Internet is gone, we won’t get it back.

To support this legislation under the guise of ‘prohibiting’ the Internet transition, when the bill authorizes the giveaway, is disingenuous. The so-called ‘Defending Internet Freedom Act of 2014’ provides the very Congressional authorization for the Internet giveaway that the President desperately needs in return for empty promises from unaccountable multinational stakeholders and a bogus ‘freedom’ certification by NTIA that cannot possibly be enforced.

“On its face, it is not possible for ICANN to apply a standard ‘at least as protective as the First Amendment,’ since once Internet governance is relinquished there will be zero recourse in federal court for any claims of censorship. There is no First Amendment cause of action that can be taken against a private institution. Yet, NTIA will have little trouble certifying it had received those assurances. Under the current arrangement as a U.S. government contractor, every user of the Internet already has full First Amendment protections should anything go awry. In essence, the bill trades a right for a promise that is guaranteed to be broken.

“In the future, there will be no requirement for ICANN to apply the highest level scrutiny for First Amendment claims against itself like a court would. Regardless of the bill, turning the Internet names and numbers functions over to ICANN effectively makes them the prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner over all speech on the information superhighway with no recourse.

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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ALG urges Congress to oppose any omnibus that funds Obama executive actions

Dec. 2, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging members of both chambers of Congress to oppose any omnibus funding bill that funds key White House executive actions:

“If Congressional leaders believe the December continuing resolution is not a viable tool to defund Obama’s agenda on executive amnesty, the EPA war on coal, the IRS assault on political speech, the Internet giveaway, or the HUD takeover of neighborhood zoning in, the only solution is to pass a short-term continuing resolution into early 2015. That will leave these vital matters for the new Congress to decide — while there is still time to do something about it.

“The fact is, the executive amnesty will be a year old by the time a budget for Fiscal Year 2016 can be approved. The HUD regulation is now set to go into effect this month. Transferring control over the Internet’s domain name system and assigned numbers functions from the Commerce Department will be done by September 30, 2015 when the current contract expires. The IRS rulemaking on 501(c)(4)s has merely been delayed by the agency. The EPA coal power plant regulations will go into effect by June 2015.

“Which means if Congress fully funds the government for the remainder of the Fiscal Year, they will be funding the implementation of these executive actions — legitimizing and legalizing the policies incoming Republican leaders have said they oppose. At some point, if you fund it, you own it.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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House’s ‘tepid lawsuit’ encourages Obama to violate law

Nov. 21, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement responding to the House lawsuit against executive implementation of Obamacare:

“Boehner’s tepid lawsuit response to five years of President Obama’s executive actions to willy nilly change the law without Congress sadly demonstrates the profound weakness of his leadership. By the time Boehner’s lawsuit winds its way through the court system, Obamacare will have been fully implemented. Is it this kind of pathetic response that encourages Obama to continue his effective dissolution of the separation of powers.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Mehrens: Obama sets up ‘constitutional crisis’

Nov. 20, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Nathan Mehrens, President of Americans for Limited Government today issued the following statement in the wake of President Obama’s announced illegal alien amnesty plan:

“Last night’s pronouncement by President Barack Obama that he will change our nation’s immigration laws with the stroke of his pen sets up a profound constitutional crisis. If Obama is allowed to impose changes in law that Congress has specifically rejected, it sets an irreversible precedent that forever changes the separation of powers between the two branches.

“Congress must immediately return to Washington, D.C., and defund every aspect tonight’s announced amnesty. Acquiescence to this constitutional power grab is not an option.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 202-744-4427 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Congress must fight Obama executive amnesty now

Nov. 19, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement in response to reports that Obama will issue an unlawful executive amnesty order in Las Vegas, Nevada tomorrow:

“No issue dominated the 2014 elections more than opposition to President Obama arbitrarily issuing executive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants. Congress should cancel all plane flights and deal with this constitutional crisis of Obama’s making immediately. There can be no question that failure to fight would make Congress complicit in this unconstitutional executive branch power grab. This is not a battle that anyone wanted, but Congress simply cannot allow President Obama to shred the separation of powers while they’re traveling back home for a holiday.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Blue collar Keystone jobs not good enough for Obama?

Nov. 18, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement disputing President Barack Obama’s November 14 claim that the Keystone pipeline is not a “massive jobs bill” for the United States:

“President Obama has consistently discounted his own State Department’s finding that 42,100 jobs will be created by the Keystone XL pipeline rationalizing that they are mostly only temporary construction jobs.  This elitist argument is an affront to every man and woman who earns their pay in work gloves and boots, devaluing the work of those who build things in America because of the temporary nature of construction projects.

“Obama, the man who sold a stimulus package based upon the false notion that it was going to be used to provide “shovel ready” jobs, now finds himself in the position of arguing that those exact jobs don’t count.  Yes, construction jobs are temporary, because construction projects get completed.  That doesn’t mean that those jobs are not valuable, as they give workers employment who then move on to the next project that needs to be built.

“Here’s the news flash for the President and his cronies, all jobs are temporary (except government civil service ones).  Every private sector employee all the way from the janitor to the CEO is temporary, and this includes the job of President of the United States and all his political minions.  To deride the economic value of a project because the jobs it creates are mostly done by blue collar construction workers shows just how far this President has strayed from the Democratic Party’s traditional labor employee base.”

Attachments:

President Barack Obama: “My hope would be that any reporter who is looking at the facts would take the time to confirm that the most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline — which might take a year or two — and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 [chuckles] jobs in a economy of 150 million working people.” Interview with The New York Times, July 24, 2013 at http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/us/politics/interview-with-president-obama.html

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Obama planned executive amnesty sets up constitutional crisis

Nov. 13, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement reacting to a leaked 10-part plan to grant amnesty to 4.5 million illegal immigrant adults with U.S.-born children:

“President Obama’s leaked plan to usurp congressional authority over immigration should put to an end all talk about a long term omnibus funding bill. Obama’s intent to wave a wand and create amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants in the wake of the November repudiation of this policy is an affront to the consent of the governed. Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell must swiftly and forcefully tie the President’s hands using the power of the purse in the December continuing resolution. If the President chooses to shut down the government in order to benefit illegal aliens then so be it.

“Even though there are those in Congress who might agree with the concept of providing legalization alternatives for those who have jumped the line, it is simply unacceptable to allow this President to dismantle the constitutional separation of powers in an effort to transform America. Obama is setting up a constitutional crisis.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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