Rubio, Cruz agree with Lee on stopping HUD racial, income zoning quotas

Feb. 11, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Republican senators to join presidential contenders Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in supporting S. 1909, the “Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2015,” legislation by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) that prohibits the use of federal funds to implement the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulation, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH):

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz agree that President Obama’s political bureaucrats at the Department of Housing and Urban Development have no business overriding local zoning authority to impose their radical vision on America.

“Under HUD’s AFFH regulation, the federal government is imposing its will by conditioning the acceptance of $3.3 billion of annual community development block grants on 1,200 local governments being forced to acquiesce to rezone cities and counties along racial and income fairness guidelines. Local zoning only determines what can be built where, not who can live there, which is subject to market conditions including demand, location and availability. This has nothing to do with real housing discrimination, which has been illegal for almost 50 years, it is about nationalizing neighborhoods, giving the federal government the power to determine where people live and what will be built where. This may be Obama’s most far-reaching regulation yet, and that is why the Senate must stop it.

“There should not be a single Republican in the Senate opposed to the Lee, Rubio, Cruz bill that stops implementation of this radical rulemaking. HUD overreach is already impacting Dubuque, Iowa and Westchester County, N.Y. and this is only the beginning. The Senate needs to hold hearings, and join the House in passing an appropriations rider that stops Obama in the short-term.  Additionally, the Lee, Rubio, Cruz legislation should be brought up for a vote and passed. Every Republican Senator still running for president agrees with Mike Lee on this issue, making this a national issue worthy of every senator’s immediate attention.

“This is not a joke, it affects property owners in every senator’s respective states. Now is the time to take a stand, before the HUD racial and income rezoning regulation becomes a permanent weapon of mass destruction in the federal government’s arsenal against cities and counties.

“The House of Representatives, led by Representative Paul Gosar has passed defunding amendments of the Obamazone regulation in the HUD appropriations bill each of the past two years, and now it is time for the Senate to get on board and force an end to this noxious federal government overreach at once.”

Attachments:

Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2015 cosponsors at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/1909/cosponsors :

Sen. Vitter, David [R-LA]
Sen. Cotton, Tom [R-AR]
Sen. Enzi, Michael B. [R-WY]
Sen. Sessions, Jeff [R-AL]
Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL]
Sen. Daines, Steve [R-MT]
Sen. Cruz, Ted [R-TX]

Time for Congress to defund Obama’s racial zoning quotas, By Robert Romano, Dec. 3, 2015 at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/12/time-for-congress-to-defund-obamas-racial-zoning-quotas/

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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Conservative groups urge Republican makers to rein in agricultural subsidies

Feb. 10, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—8 conservative organizations sent a letter to Republican lawmakers today, encouraging Congress to take a global approach to reigning in the agricultural subsidies that are distorting global markets and harming U.S. consumers.

The letter, which was spearheaded by Americans for Limited Government, singled out the sugar market and noted that there are two competing conservative ideas of how to achieve reforms.

“One side wants to immediately and unilaterally end the current [U.S. sugar] program…even if it means increasing dependence on unreliable foreign food supplies,” read the letter. “The other side wants to end the current sugar program, as well, but not without simultaneously ending the market-distorting foreign government subsidies that unfairly place American farmers at a competitive disadvantage.”

The signers — which include American Legislative Exchange Council, the Hispanic Leadership Fund, 60 Plus, Less Government, Citizen Outreach, Institute for Liberty, and Institute for Policy Innovation, among others — explained that a strategic “zero-for-zero” policy where all countries simultaneously end subsidization is the preferred policy path. And they noted that such an approach is a viable option given the World Trade Organization’s focus on agricultural subsidies during trade talks in Nairobi, Kenya, this December.

“As such, we the undersigned free-market conservatives urge Members to reject calls for immediate ‘unilateral disarmament’ as it relates to the U.S. sugar program and instead embrace the more measured and reasoned strategic approach of a negotiated ‘zero-for-zero’ reform proposal among global competitors,” the letter concluded.

Attachments:

Open Letter to Republican Members of Congress on Reforming the U.S. Sugar Program, Feb. 10, 2016, Americans for Limited Government, Hispanic Leadership Fund, Institute for Policy Innovation, 60 Plus Association, Institute for Liberty, Citizen Outreach, Less Government, and American Legislative Exchange Council at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Zero-for-Zero-Letter-8-Conservative-Groups-2-10-16.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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Pentagon climate change order makes America and the world less safe

Feb. 9, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to the Pentagon’s order that climate change must be incorporated into virtually everything they do:

“The Pentagon’s prioritization of climate change as a primary military function fundamentally disrupts what our soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors are supposed to be doing – protecting the United States of America.

“Sergeants leading a platoon should not be worried about the environmental sensitivity of a rice paddy that needs to be traversed to achieve their mission, while providing the maximum security for the personnel under their command.  Tank commanders should be afforded all the training they need no matter how much fuel is expended in the process.  And Naval Captains should run their ships at the speeds that are necessitated by the immediate needs of the situation.

“Instead, President Obama would install bureaucratic boards and other second guessers along with real time tactical climate change assessments that would be held over officers’ heads should they choose what was deemed to be a climate change insensitive course of action. Given the tactical level of Obama’s plan, it is reasonable to assume that every platoon will have a political officer assigned to be the climate advocate in this new post-Obama military.

“Our military’s job is to break things and stop bad actors around the world who threaten the United States.  President Obama’s actions turn the military’s mission on its head, making America less safe and the world a more dangerous place.  January 20, 2017 cannot come soon enough.”

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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Real unemployment rate 8.9 percent

Feb. 5, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to the latest jobs numbers published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

“Since 2007, the population of 16 to 64 year olds has increased by about 10 million to 205 million. Yet, the number of people with jobs that age has remained unchanged at 140.4 million. As a result the employment-population for 16 to 64 year olds has dropped, from 71.8 percent to 68.5 percent, the labor force participation rate from 75.3 percent to 72.4 percent — accounting for 6 million people in the prime working years of their lives who simply gave up looking for work. If they were included in today’s unemployment report, the unemployment rate would be 8.9 percent and not the reported 4.9 percent.

“The economy never recovered from the Great Recession, and if we continue on this path of ignoring the real problem, it never will.”

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 supports Gosar amendment to end abuses of Operation Choke Point

Feb. 4, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging members of the House of Representatives to support an amendment by U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) to H.R. 766 to help end abuses of Operation Choke Point:

“ALG strongly supports Representative Gosar’s common sense amendment to the H.R. 766 protecting customers of financial institutions by increasing transparency between them and the federal government. The federal government has no constitutional power to take actions against individuals with due process, and Gosar’s amendment will ensure that if a financial institution does take any action against an individual or business terminating their account at the behest of the feds, it must notify the customer why it is doing so.”

Attachments:

Amendment to H.R. 766, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Feb. 4, 2016 at http://amendments-rules.house.gov/amendments/GOSAR_159_xml22161221432143.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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ALG praises 10 early cosponsors of Article One supplemental

Feb. 4, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today praised the 10 early cosponsors of the Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016 offered by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.):

“The surest, most effective way to stop Obama’s continued usurpation of congressional authority is to defund those overreaching regulations and executive actions using Congress’ power of the purse. Americans for Limited Government thanks Representatives Paul Gosar, Jeff Duncan, Mark Meadows, Glenn Grothman, Barry Loudermilk, Pete Sessions, Matt Salmon, Marlin Stutzman, Scott DesJarlais and Louie Gohmert for being early co-sponsors of Representative Ken Buck’s Article One bill which defunds some of President Obama’s most onerous executive overreaches.

“The Article One supplemental includes many provisions that have already been vetted by House appropriations committees and included in underlying appropriations bills, as well as those that have passed the House of Representatives on the floor. These riders were unfortunately left on the table during the omnibus negotiations, but 2016 provides a fresh opportunity to rein in the last 11 months of the Obama administration — before he does any more damage to the nation and the constitutional separation of powers which are fundamental to our freedoms.

“In addition, the bill would prevent President Obama from enacting any ‘midnight regulations’ as his Administration thankfully winds to an end.

“Rhetoric about Congress reasserting its Constitutional prerogatives has become a standard talking point for many in the House Conference, Representative Ken Buck and these ten early co-sponsors are demonstrating that tough talk is not enough, Congress must act. We strongly urge other Members to join the growing momentum in favor of real assertion of Article One authority by cosponsoring the Consolidated Appropriation Amendments of 2016.”

Attachments:

“Stand up for the Constitution and roll back executive power,” By U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Washington Examiner, Feb. 1, 2016 at http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/stand-up-for-the-constitution-and-roll-back-executive-power/article/2581734

Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016 cosponsors:

Rep. Gosar, Paul A. [R-AZ-4]
Rep. Duncan, Jeff [R-SC-3]
Rep. Meadows, Mark [R-NC-11]
Rep. Grothman, Glenn [R-WI-6]
Rep. Loudermilk, Barry [R-GA-11]
Rep. Sessions, Pete [R-TX-32]
Rep. Salmon, Matt [R-AZ-5]
Rep. Stutzman, Marlin A. [R-IN-3]
Rep. DesJarlais, Scott [R-TN-4]
Rep. Gohmert, Louie [R-TX-1]

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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Sen. Cornyn endorses mass criminal release as ‘empathy’

“What happened to John Cornyn?”

Jan. 29, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) endorsement of legislation that will result in the early release of thousands of federal prison inmates, telling the New York Times, “It doesn’t hurt to show that you actually care. This is a statement that is not just symbolic, but actually shows that you care about people. It doesn’t hurt to show some empathy.”:

“Senator John Cornyn, whose sense of empathy must have developed at Washington, D.C. cocktail parties, should prove he truly cares for people whose neighborhoods have been ravaged by drugs and violent crimes by moving to those one of those neighborhoods so he can see for himself the impact of releasing early thousands of hardened drug kingpins and violent criminals back on to the streets of America. Senator Cornyn’s ‘empathetic’ conscience needs to meet the reality of the street, where a 77 percent recidivism rate amongst released prisoners is the norm, with 25 percent of those crimes being violent and nature.

“This is something Cornyn would have been acutely aware of when he was a judge in Texas as well as the state’s Attorney General who once famously argued that Texas’ death penalty law should be the model for the nation.

“A truly empathetic response is to protect neighborhoods and not to release criminals en masse. And the best action that Congress can take is to reject any legislation that releases thousands of criminals early.

“What is truly remarkable is that while in the Senate minority, Cornyn argued vociferously against early criminal release in 2011 when the sentencing commission implemented retroactive sentencing reductions of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010.

“And again in 2014 when the Smarter Sentencing Act of 2014 was proposed, the precursor of the current legislation, Cornyn objected citing the nation’s ‘historic heroin epidemic’ and warning of tens of thousands of ‘additional murders, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, burglaries, thefts, auto thefts, and incidents of arson.’ If anything, the rise of the use of heroin has become more endemic since 2014, and the streets more dangerous. What’s more in that same letter, Cornyn wrote this about these same drug traffickers that he would release early today, ‘The notion that drug traffickers are non-violent is simply incorrect.’ Cornyn continued, ‘Among other factors disputes over money cannot be settled with a lawsuit. Violence and threats are the norm.’

“It is impossible to reconcile Senator Cornyn’s new-found empathy for hardened criminals with the clear facts of his 2010 and 2014 letters where he took exactly the opposite stance against early criminal release. An enterprising reporter might ask about his newfound faith in the good will of violent drug kingpins who he apparently now thinks should be put back on the streets of America. When did John Cornyn’s empathy switch from the victims of the destruction of families, friends and communities to the the purveyors of death resting safely in federal prison?

“What happened to John Cornyn?”

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 rejection of Energy Policy Modernization Act

Jan. 27, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging rejection of Senate legislation, the so-called “Energy Policy Modernization Act”:

“Americans for Limited Government urges the Senate to reject the Energy Policy Modernization of 2015. There is no excuse for the Senate to move forward with legislation that continues the practice of picking energy winners and losers, expands federal government authority and fails to turn control of federal lands back to the states. Rather than creating a Working Group on Energy Markets that will be abused by a future President intent on conducting a future war on energy, the Senate should focus on policies that strip the federal government’s control over energy producers.”

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 to confirm judge who doesn’t believe in private property?

Jan. 14, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the Senate to reject the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota nominee Wilhelmina Marie Wright in light of the fact that she wrote in the UCLA Law Review in 1990, “The failure of today’s racial discourse is its reliance on the notion that property is neutral, that the deed to a suburban home is ‘property’ while the opportunity to move out of a slum is not”:

“Confirming President Obama’s Third Circuit Court of Appeals nominee Wilhelmina Marie Wright is nothing less than giving assent to a judicial attack on private property rights.  Yet, that is exactly what the Senate appears poised to do.  It makes one question what Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is doing allowing radical nominees like Wright to even reach the floor.

“In the UCLA Law Review in 1990, Wright argued that, ‘The failure of today’s racial discourse is its reliance on the notion that property is neutral, that the deed to a suburban home is ‘property’ while the opportunity to move out of a slum is not.’

“The GOP only maintains one functional Constitutional power in its purported effort to rein in President Obama’s executive overreach, the responsibility to confirm or reject his nominees.  There simply is no excuse for the Senate GOP to allow any more of Obama’s extremist jurists onto the bench where they can use their radical views to thwart future Administration efforts to roll back this President’s excesses.”

Attachments:

“GOP to Confirm ‘Property Rights are White and Racist’ Judge,” By Daniel Horowitz, Conservative Review, Jan. 14, 2016 at https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/01/gop-to-confirm-property-rights-are-white-and-racist-judge

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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Early release felon commits Columbus triple murder, Congress to blame

Jan. 14, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Congress to reject any more bills providing early release for federal prisoners in light of the brutal Columbus, Ohio triple murder allegedly committed by a crack dealer who was released from federal prison early thanks to the so-called 2010 Fair Sentencing Act:

“The brutal Columbus, Ohio murder of Erveena Hammonds and her 7 and 10 year-old daughters, whose throats were slit by an early-released felon, is exhibit A of why Congress should reject legislation designed to let thousands more convicted drug criminals out of federal prison prematurely. If Congress had not enacted the so-called 2010 Fair Sentencing Act, Wendell Callahan would still be in jail and Erveena Hammonds and her two daughters, Breya and Anaesia, would still be alive.

“The tragedy of a felon who got almost four years knocked off his sentence re-entering the life of his former girlfriend and violently ending it was sadly predictable. A multi-year 30 state study on the recidivism of more than 400,000 felons released in 2005 showed that unfortunately 75 percent of those released re-entered the criminal justice system and 25 percent of the crimes were violent.

“Now President Obama and Congress are moving ahead with more legislation that will provide early release to some of our nation’s largest drug dealers all under the guise of compassion. President Obama is already in the process of unilaterally letting 46,000 federal felons go early, a move that will exacerbate the already tense situations in cities like Baltimore, Maryland and Chicago, Illinois which suffered through record numbers of homicides in the past year. It is time for Congress to start exhibiting some compassion for the people who these major drug dealers destroyed through their illegal trade, and the neighborhoods and communities which were decimated due to their pervasive influence.

“The last thing that is needed is for Congress to throw fuel on the fire by adding some of the worst drug traffickers to the mix, some of whom were also convicted for having a gun in their possession while committing their crimes. Simply stated, if Congress passes the mass criminal release bill that is being considered under the auspices of ‘reform’ Erveena Hammond and her two girls will not be the last to die due to Congressional prisoner reprieves. One wonders what the heck Congress is thinking?”

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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