Sen. Jeff Sessions is right, Paul Ryan, House GOP needs to change on TPP

July 18, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement agreeing with Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-Ala.) response to Joe Scarborough’s question on MSNBC on U.S. trade policy asking, “So does Paul Ryan need to change [on trade]?” to which Sessions stated, “Absolutely he needs to change. Just like I have,”:

“Senator Jeff Sessions gets it exactly right. Speaker Paul Ryan needs to change on trade and particularly the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP.) Even President Obama’s own economic analysis shows TPP will have virtually no positive impact economically for the U.S., with almost no growth thanks to the deal. Jeff Sessions has had a change of heart on trade, and it is time Republicans in Congress follow his lead, look at the data with clear eyes, and ask if the U.S. lowering trade barriers while other nations engage in currency manipulation — subsidizing their goods and taxing ours — is a good deal for American workers and our economy as a whole. Free trade requires rules, namely, that everyone involved lowers trade barriers. Otherwise it’s not really free trade. Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions are right and GOP leaders like Speaker Ryan need to just say no to President Obama’s attempt to shove his bad trade deal down the throats of Congress after the November election.”

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 thanks U.S. Reps. Jason Smith, Lynn Westmoreland and Doug Collins for defunding sue and settle in Interior approps

July 14, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising the House of Representatives led by U.S. Reps. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Doug Collins (R-Ga.) for passing an amendment to the Department of Interior appropriations bill that defunds the practice of sue and settle:

“Sue-and-settle arrangements are where a group sues demanding that the EPA or another agency enforce the law in a new, expanded way and the agency enters into a consent decree with the party, which is signed by a judge. This leaves the agency with new powers under the Clean Air and Water and the Endangered Species Acts. But now, thanks to U.S. Reps. Smith, Westmoreland and Collins and a decisive 226 to 202 vote in the House, this practice will come to an end. Sue and settle is an abomination that has no place under representative government, as it cuts Congress out of the process of amending law.”

To view online: http://getliberty.org/alg-thanks-u-s-reps-jason-smith-lynn-westmoreland-and-doug-collins-for-defunding-sue-and-settle-in-interior-approps/

Attachments:

Amendment to H.R. 5538, H.Amdt. 1353, U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland at http://amendments-rules.house.gov/amendments/WESTMO_02577160945384538.pdf

At  the  end  of  the  bill  (before  the  short  title),  insert  the following:

SEC. ___. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to pay legal fees pursuant to a settlement in any case, in which  the Federal Government is a party, that arises under—

(1)  the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.);

(2)  the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.); or

(3)  the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

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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Time to put an end to criminal justice legislation

July 8, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in opposition to legislation proposed that would result in retroactive sentence reductions of federal prison, resulting in the early release of thousands of felons:

“It is repugnant to engage in the language of violence against those who are sworn to uphold the law, and in fact it is an attack on the rule of law itself. We’ve seen riots in Ferguson, Baltimore and elsewhere around the nation justified even as the facts supported the police. The assassination of five law enforcement officers in Dallas is the fruit of this poisoned tree.

“Incredibly some Republican Members of Congress in the face of this accelerating disintegration of the rule of law, continue to press forward with the agenda of the loudest voices attacking the thin blue line that runs between civility and chaos on our city streets through their support of so-called Criminal Justice Reform.

“Republican leadership need to put an end to all discussion of the ill-conceived legislation which would release additional hard core criminals back onto the streets at this perilous moment where respect for the law and those who enforce it has been at least partially thrown out the window.  It is obscene that out of some misguided attempt to assuage the concerns of those who have engaged in the harshest rhetoric against the police, those anti-police voices should be rewarded with a major rewrite of our nation’s federal criminal laws.

“The terrorists who killed five and injured seven Dallas law enforcement officers trying to protect a Black Lives Matter rally are not excused due to the historic inciting language of BLM aimed at those who died protecting them.  These terrorists need to feel the full brunt of the law.

“Similarly, the agents of hate who inspired these brazen assassinations should not be rewarded by having their faulty agenda moved forward through Congress.  It’s time for GOP leaders to finally just say no to the empty the prisons agenda of Black Lives Matter and other agents of Blue hate.”

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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How are Petraeus, Libby hit with disseminating classified information and not Hillary Clinton?

July 5, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response FBI Director James Comey’s statement that the FBI is not recommending that Hillary Clinton be charged with any crime for storing and disseminating classified information from her private email server:

“It is inconceivable that David Petraeus and Scooter Libby could be convicted for disseminating classified information and Hillary Clinton is getting a get out of jail free card.  In 1973, Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned rather than fire Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox gaining praise for their integrity. FBI Director James Comey’s decision to bow to political expediency erases all pretense that Lady Justice’s blindfold has not been stripped away by the Obama Administration.

“The FBI acknowledges that crimes were committed but recommends no charges as a matter of prosecutorial discretion. No greater miscarriage of justice and the rule of law can be contemplated than high officials being held to a separate standard than everyone else. The politicization of justice in the U.S. may be the most consequential of all of Obama’s fundamental transformations.”

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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Elizabeth Warren embraces bank bailouts at taxpayer expense for Puerto Rico creditors

June 29, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) for voting against legislation that restructures Puerto Rico’s $72 billion of debt:

“It is ironic that Elizabeth Warren, who made her name fighting against too big to fail and bank bailouts, voted no on the Puerto Rico debt restructuring that makes banks pay for betting poorly in the bond market. Apparently, Warren’s time in D.C. has already taught her it is better to be cozy with the hedge fund bond traders than with the American people.

“While no legislation is perfect, PROMESA protects American taxpayers by putting unsecured creditors at the bottom of the list for payment, and guarantees that those who bet poorly on Puerto Rico debt get a cramdown and not a bailout.”

Attachments:

U.S. Reps. Sean Duffy, Rob Bishop and Raul Labrador protect taxpayers from bailing out Puerto Rico creditors, Americans for Limited Government statement, June 10, 2016 at https://getliberty.org/u-s-reps-sean-duffy-rob-bishop-and-raul-labrador-protect-taxpayers-from-bailing-out-puerto-rico-creditors/

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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Support for illegal Internet giveaway collapses in Congress

June 27, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Senate and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) for a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) calling it “troubling that NTIA appears to have taken these actions in violation of this prohibition” of Section 539 of the Omnibus spending bill that forbids the NTIA from relinquishing control over the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to any group including ICANN:

“Sen. Grassley and Rep. Goodlatte’s leadership in protecting the Internet is one of the reasons that the transition has not already occurred, and now their letter to NTIA shows that powerful Senate and House leaders are lining up to defend the power of the purse from the Obama administration’s illegal Internet giveaway. NTIA is little more than a rogue agency,  illegally preparing to violate a federal statute by proceeding with the transition in spite of a clear prohibition. Now is the time to hold NTIA accountable and renew the prohibition for at least another year, forcing the current contract with ICANN to be renewed.

“Grassley and Goodlatte’s letter comes after Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune has expressed skepticism of the transition, citing unanswered questions, and House Appropriations Commerce, Science and Justice Subcommittee Chairman Rep. John Culberson has warned the Commerce Department that is violating the defund. With so much uncertainty, renewing the contract is the only way to go.”

Attachments:

Letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), June 27, 2016 at http://www.grassley.senate.gov/sites/default/files/judiciary/upload/2016-06-27%20GEG%2C%20Goodlatte%20to%20National%20Telecommunications%20and%20Information%20Administration%20%28IANA%20Transition%29.pdf

“[D]espite the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus spending bill’s prohibition on NTIA using any funds in furtherance of the transition, NTIA has been working to transfer the IANA functions by devoting staff time and commissioning outsides studies on the subject. Specifically Section 539 of the FY2016 Omnibus states that funds provided in the Act may not be used to relinquish NTIA’s responsibility for the Internet domain name system functions, including responsibility with respect to the authoritative root zone file and the IANA functions. However, in NTIA’s recent ‘IANA Stewardship Transition Proposal Assessment Report,’ NTIA states that, among other actions it ‘utilized a number of resources and tools’ to review and assess the IANA stewardship proposal. Further NTIA states that it utilized the DNS Interagency Working Group, comprised of 15 government agencies, to ‘engage U.S. federal government agencies on matters related to the IANA Stewardship Transition, including proposal review and assessment.’ As we are sure you are aware, it is a violation of federal law for an officers or employee of the United States Government ‘to make or authorize an expenditure or obligation exceeding an amount available in an appropriation or fund for the expenditure or obligation.’ It is troubling that NTIA appears to have taken these actions in violation of this prohibition.”

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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Support Duffy-Marino amendment to cut Community Development Financial Institutions account by $20.7 million

June 21, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement to support an amendment by U.S. Reps. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) and Tom Marino (R-Pa.) that would decrease funding to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) account by $20.7 million

“The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) account at the Department of Justice has received $20.7 in illegal monies from legal settlements. The Duffy amendment will offset these illegal increases in the program outside of the congressional appropriations process by the Obama Administration. Only Congress should appropriate money, not the Department of Justice through legal shakedowns.”

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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Sens. Grassley, Sasse, Lee, Lankford back renewing Cruz-Duffy amendment to save the Internet

June 21, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) for backing an amendment to the Senate Commerce, Science and Justice appropriations bill by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) that would make transitioning by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to any entity outside the U.S. government illegal:

“The Internet’s naming conventions, which have always been under government oversight, should not be transferred. The domain name system is too important for Congress to allow the Obama administration to relinquish oversight on a whim. We thank Sens. Grassley, Sasse, Lee and Lankford for backing this important legislation.

“Renewing this provision of the 2016 Omnibus is even more necessary as it is clear NTIA is already proceeding with the Internet surrender despite being explicitly prohibited from doing so in under the law. While Congress pursues options for enforcing the existing defund, passing the Cruz-Duffy language again would send a clear message to NTIA that Congress takes the power of the purse serious. That makes Sen. Grassley’s support particularly important due to his powerful position as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”

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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House Financial Services Approps asserts Article One prerogatives

June 20, 2016, Fairfax, Va.–Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging passage of the House Financial Services Appropriations Bill:

“The House Financial Services bill is an Article I bill. It will defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from getting printing press money from the Fed. It will end the individual mandate under Obamacare, defend churches against IRS abuses. It will defund certain Treasury regulations regarding investments in overseas coal-fired plants. It will prohibit the Financial Stability Board from taking over and bailing out financial institutions under Dodd-Frank. It cuts off any funding for the Cuban military and intelligence. It defunds Net Neutrality. And it even comes in $1.5 billion under the previous year’s appropriations level.

“This is exactly what taxpayers expect from a Republican Congress, reining in abuses by the Obama Administration and curtailing the use of state power against the American people. Using the Congressional power of the purse to limit the executive branch is exactly what the Framers intended when they implemented the separation of powers.

“The Financial Services appropriations subcommittee led by Chairman Ander Crenshaw should be very proud of their work shown by their determination to not allow President Obama’s abuses of power to remain unchecked.  Americans for Limited Government strongly urges the passage of this legislation through the Rules Committee, the House of Representatives and Congress as a whole.

“The legislation should be strengthened even further by inclusion of an amendment by U.S. Rep. John Katko that prevents the IRS from violating the privacy rights of taxpayers by stopping the agency from hiring outside counsel to lead investigations.”

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 Katko amendment to stop IRS intimidation

June 13, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in support of an amendment to the Department of Treasury appropriations bill that prohibits the Internal Revenue Service from hiring outside individuals or firms to take sworn testimony, or to conduct examination work involving confidential taxpayer information:

“Representative John Katko’s proposed amendment to the Department of Treasury appropriations bill rolls back an IRS regulation that further weaponizes that agency’s ability to intimidate companies or individuals, and must be included into the bill.

“President Obama’s Internal Revenue Service’s abuse of taxpayer privacy and the politicization of the Agency has been on-going for years. Representative Katko’s amendment would prohibit the IRS from hiring outside individuals or firms to take sworn testimony, or to conduct examination work involving confidential taxpayer information.

“Taxpayer records are supposed to be confidential under penalty of a federal felony for releasing them for a reason, as even the hint of an IRS investigation can cause stock prices to plummet and do heavy damage to a company’s reputation. Yet, the IRS has skated this prohibition by allowing outside law firms to conduct investigations on their behalf targeting corporations, and Katko’s amendment would stop this new Obama Administration practice.

“Very few things can have the same chilling and intimidating effect on a corporation as an IRS investigation.  Americans for Limited Government strongly urges the House Rules Committee to allow the Katko amendment to be voted on by the full House of Representatives.  It is a common sense rollback of an Obama Administration regulation that threatens the legal prohibitions against IRS disclosure of investigation targets, and would end one area where IRS intimidation has a real impact.”

Attachments:

“Letters of marque and reprisal granted by IRS,” By Americans for Limited Government Foundation President and Counsel Nathan Mehrens, May 21, 2015 at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/05/letters-of-marque-and-reprisal-granted-by-irs/

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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