ALG urges House approval of Keystone XL pipeline

Nov. 13, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging passage of H.R. 5682 offered by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) that would permit “TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. [to] construct, connect, operate, and maintain the pipeline and cross-border facilities” of the Keystone XL pipeline:

“The House led by Rep. Bill Cassidy is to be praised for taking the lead on finally approving the Keystone XL pipeline. Americans for Limited Government urges every member to support this common sense legislation and get it moving to the Senate.

“Everything we ever needed to know about the Obama administration has been learned in its obstruction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Why hasn’t it been approved by the Obama State Department? Not because there is anything exceptional about this pipeline. There already is another Keystone pipeline from Alberta  operated by TransCanada that already delivers about 590,000 barrels of oil a day. The new pipeline would simply add another 500,000 barrels a day to the mix.

“This is just one more example of executive branch discretion run amuck. Where Obama’s allegiance to green ideology trumps all considerations of policy that will help lead to North American energy independence. Obama is acting in somebody’s interest, it’s just not the American people’s.”

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 Majority Leader McCarthy to rethink government funding strategy

Oct. 27, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government president Nathan Mehrens reacted today to a news report that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy hopes to pass a long-term funding bill for the federal government during the lame duck session.

“While we appreciate Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s intent to avoid a funding fight in early 2015, allowing the Democratic-controlled Senate to dictate government funding terms even after they have likely been defeated is a mistake.

“President Obama has made it clear that he will continue to push the boundaries of constitutional lawlessness through regulations and executive orders, and the power of the purse is one of the only powers Congress has to rein in a rogue Executive.  Throwing away this power to stop the most misguided of Obama’s initiatives through the defunding process, cedes the only realistic tool this Congress has to check the President’s excesses, and would negate the mandate of the people to halt the lawlessness of this Administration.

“Over the past four years, major advances toward fiscal sanity have been made through the government funding process and giving away the only legislative tool that the President respects is to declare defeat before the new Congress is even seated.

“It is our hope that Majority Leader McCarthy will consider this trial balloon popped and instruct appropriators to work with the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and other authorizing committees to identify the most egregious excesses and put a plan in place to defund those activities.  Americans for Limited Government has been active in identifying these abuses and dangerous policies, and will be continuing to inform Congress about them.

“Over the past four years, the only major advances toward fiscal sanity have been made through the government funding process and to throw away the only legislative tool that the President respects is to declare defeat before the new Congress is even seated.”

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 files FOIL request to NY state AG on wage prosecution release

Oct. 20, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a suit against a franchise restaurant operator alleging under-payment of employee wages issuing a release announcing the prosecution on October 16, which included a statement from union organizing activist Kendall Fells of the organization Fast Food Forward.   Americans for Limited Government filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the state Attorney Generals’ office on October 20, 2014, seeking communications between the Office and Fells who was quoted in the political campaign style release. Nathan Mehrens, president of Americans for Limited Government, announced the FOIL request stating:

“The New York State Attorney General’s inclusion of union organizing activist Kendall Fells of the organization Fast Food Forward in a press release announcing a lawsuit for alleged under-payment of employee wages raises the question of whether the action is advocacy or law enforcement.

“If Fells was part of the AG’s investigative team and privy to legal actions before they became public, this taints the investigation with the stench of labor union organizing politics.

“To discover whether the relationship between Fells and the New York AG’s office tarnishes the activities of that office, Americans for Limited Government has filed a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request asking for all records of communication between any officer or employee in the Office of the Attorney General and Kendall Fells regarding the Attorney General’s suit specific to the prosecution encompassed by the New York state AG’s press release, as well as their communications regarding any other subject.

“The people of New York have the right to assume that the law is being prosecuted evenly, and that undue political influences are not tarnishing its prosecution.

“Unfortunately, the press release issued by the state’s Attorney General announcing a lawsuit and including an advocacy group’s comment lead a reasonable person to believe that there was collusion which may not have been lawful or ethical. It is our hope that the FOIL request will erase any questions in this matter.”

Attachments:

“A.G. Schneiderman Sues Papa John’s Franchisee For Underpaying More Than 400 Delivery Workers; Seeking More Than $2 Million,” Oct. 16, 2014 at http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-sues-papa-johns-franchisee-underpaying-more-400-delivery-workers

Freedom of Information Law Request to NYS Attorney General’s Office, Americans for Limited Government, Oct. 20, 2014 at http://algfoiafiles.com/images/9/9e/NY_FOIL_Request_Atty_Gen_Kendall_Fells_10.20.14.pdf

Information page on FOIL request, Oct. 20, 2014 at http://algfoiafiles.com/index.php?title=Communications_with_Fast_Food_Forward

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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225 years later, sugar subsidies no closer to being eliminated

October 8, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement calling attention to a new white paper, “Getting rid of sugar subsidies: A look to the future after decades of failure,” and urging passage of H. Con. Res. 39 by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) that calls for the elimination of sugar subsidies, but only once other sugar exporters have taken similar action:

“For the last 60 years, conservatives have called for the end of sugar subsidies using the same, standard free market language, and have failed miserably. Rather than telling every member of Congress they should not care if every domestic sugar producer is driven out of business costing hundreds of thousands of jobs, and reinforcing the fears of every farm state representative and senator that their constituents might be in the cross hairs next should sugar subsidies fall now, conservatives need a new, winning game plan.

“Unilaterally ending sugar subsidies has been a losing argument for 225 years, dating back to the original protections on sugar during the first Congress of 1789. The Yoho reform recognizes that there is no free market for sugar, and we need to change the international subsidy playing field in order to achieve one.

“Yoho has a better plan, which calls for ending the subsidies, but only contingent upon other nations following suit. By ending subsidies through a thoughtful approach, Yoho does not destroy a domestic industry, and instead engages and encourages other nations to do the same. The Yoho plan will empower U.S. representatives at the World Trade Organization to push for mutual ending of these subsidies, helping to usher in a new era of free markets and creating a template for addressing other subsidized industries.”

Attachments:

“Getting rid of sugar subsidies: A look to the future after decades of failure,” By ALG vice president of public policy and communications Rick Manning, October, 8, 2014 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/SugarWhitePaper10-8-14.pdf .

“The Case for a Zero for Zero Sugar Policy in the United States,” By Dr. Mark Hartley on behalf of Americans for Limited Government Foundation, July 18, 2013 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Zero-for-Zero-Sugar-Policy-718.pdf .

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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NLRB utilizes more union representation than any other agency

October 7, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement calling attention to Office of Personnel Management data that shows the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) utilized more union representation than any other agency:

“Federal government labor union employees at the NLRB apparently need the most protection by taxpayer funded union stewards of any other Agency.  As the Office of Personnel Management revealed late last week, in 2012, the National Labor Relations Board’s employees utilized more union representation than any other Agency and it wasn’t even close.

“It is truly sad that the board which purports to protect employee rights, has such little regard for their own staff that employees need to have four times as many hours spent on union representatives than the average federal agency.  A cynic might believe that perhaps these are old-fashioned featherbed jobs, where little work is actually required.

“As a result, Americans for Limited Government intends to issue a formal complaint to the Office of the Inspector General to determine whether there is an abusive labor situation at the NLRB, or are these brother-in-law jobs where no work is required?

“One other question that anyone concerned with good government should ask is, “why is this report just being issued now, almost two years after the 2012 fiscal year ended?  OPM’s failure to issue these reports that go to the heart of how this Administration is allocating its personnel spending is egregious in this age of computerized data tracking.”

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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Unemployment report shows participation rate at new 36-year low

Oct. 3, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the latest jobs numbers:

“The almost predictable Obama Administration pre-election unemployment report did not fail to deliver as the top-line unemployment rate sunk below 6 percent.  Unfortunately, this drop in the rate is, once again, largely due to another 315,000 people, or the equivalent of half of the total population of the District of Columbia, dropping out of the workforce.  From a limited government point of view, it might seem like a good idea if half of Washington, D.C., no longer was employed or even in the employment market, but unfortunately, these employment market drop outs are not former federal government employees, but instead are folks located across the nation.  The very people who D.C. depends upon to pay taxes and produce goods and services to make our economy run.

“The current labor participation rate has gotten so bad, that our nation has not had a smaller percentage of people in the labor force since February, 1978, when Jimmy Carter was President, the Bee Gees song Stayin Alive topped the charts, and the Roger Staubach-led Cowboys defeated the Broncos in Super Bowl X11.

“As Paul Harvey used to say, ‘And now you know the rest of the story.’”

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 President Nathan Mehrens praises GOP Chairman’s remarks

October 2, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement praising the Republican unity document, “Principles for American Renewal”:

“Americans for Limited Government welcomes RNC Chairman Reince Preibus’ significant move away from the Party’s disastrous 2013 attempt to re-brand itself.  His embracing core conservative principles confirms that voters want a government that protects our national security and promotes peace through strength, a Constitutional government that ends the culture of lies, lawlessness and corruption that permeates Barack Obama’s Washington, D.C., and treats everyone fairly and equally by rejecting amnesty rather than allowing illegal aliens to take cuts to the head of the immigration line in order to assuage a loud constituency that values power over the rule of law.

“Americans for Limited Government will continue our work to promote reducing the size and scope of government, and this GOP policy document clearly demonstrates that this upcoming election is about more than who delivered taxpayer funds back home, and instead is about reining in a federal government that has grown too large, too powerful, and as a result, too corrupt.  This upcoming election is too important for anyone who cares about the course of the nation to sit on the sidelines, and it is incumbent on every citizen to exercise their duty to vote for the candidate that best reflects their values and beliefs if we are to have any hope in creating real, positive change for our children and their children.”

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’s Labor fundraising scandal cover-up denounced

September 15, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement demanding the resignation or firing of White House General Counsel Lamar Baker, Associate White House Counsel Kathleen Harnett, and Deputy Solicitor of Labor Deborah Greenfield for conspiring to conceal documents legitimately requested under the Freedom of Information Act:

“It is appalling that a simple request for the schedule of then-Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was elevated to the highest levels of the White House in an attempt to conceal her activities. White House General Counsel Lamar Baker even went so far as to demand our identity clearly to determine whether or not to release the information under the Freedom of Information Act.

“FOIA was never supposed to be give information to your friends and withhold it from your critics. In fact, it is intended just for the opposite purpose. The cavalier abuse of this fundamental government transparency tool should result in the resignations or firing of White House General Counsel Lamar Baker, Associate White House Counsel Kathleen Harnett, and Deputy Solicitor of Labor Deborah Greenfield.”

Documents show that ALG’s FOIA appeal was delayed by over two years:

Sept. 1, 2010:  In response to a Jan. 14, 2010 FOIA request from ALG, DOL withheld a calendar entry showing that Solis met with Cecilia Munoz from White House on April 7, 2009.

Oct. 26, 2010:  ALG files FOIA appeal, challenging redactions.

Approx. March 2012: Solis makes a fundraising call to a DOL employee during business hours in order to aid the President’s reelection campaign.

Apr. 8, 2013 to May 6, 2013:  DOL finally consults with White House Counsel’s Office about releasing the calendar entry; White House agrees to release.

May 20, 2013: DOL issues final response to ALG which includes the production of the calendar with the calendar entry.

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 Nathan Mehrens.

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Congress must hold up or down votes on war against Islamic State

Sept. 12, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging both chambers of Congress to take up legislation on the White House’s proposed war against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria:

“If the war against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria is important enough for the U.S. to fight, then it is important enough for Congress to vote on. Obama cannot go to war unilaterally without Congress, yet that is precisely what his administration seeks to do in order to spare congressional Democrats a tough vote on the eve of the midterm elections. Last time we checked, constitutional provisions such as Congress’ war-making powers can neither be suspended by presidential fiat nor for cynical, political calculations.

“This is a subversion of the Constitution of the highest order, and Congress must act immediately to preserve the separation of powers. There should be votes on Obama’s war, whether it would pass or not. The people’s representatives must have their say on when the nation goes to war, or else members of Congress of both parties will be complicit in this abdication of power.”

Attachments:

“Obama still needs Congress to go to war into Syria,” By Robert Romano, senior editor, Americans for Limited Government, Sept. 12, 2014 at http://netrightdaily.com/2014/09/obama-still-needs-congress-go-war-syria/

“Obama’s betrayal of the Constitution,” By Bruce Ackerman, Yale Law School professor, Sept. 12, 2014 at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/12/opinion/obamas-betrayal-of-the-constitution.html

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 Nathan Mehrens.

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ALG to Congress: No lame duck budget, no Ex-Im rider

Sept. 9, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging both chambers of Congress to reject any continuing resolution that extends into the lame duck period before the new Congress is sworn in, and to reject any temporary reauthorization of the $27 billion a year Export Import Bank:

“Senate Democrats have lost their right to have any say at all on next year’s spending. They want to push the spending bill until after the November elections, and before the holidays when nobody’s looking. Why would the House let them do that? That’s not representation, it’s deception to prevent voters from knowing before November where members stand on the critical fiscal issues facing the nation.

“Congress should reject any continuing resolution that extends into the lame duck period before the new Congress is sworn in. The American people deserve better than this. The U.S. Senate has not brought a single appropriations bill to the floor all year long. In the meantime, the House has passed 7 spending bills, including 215 spending amendments. The only continuing resolution that should be considered is one that extends into February or March.

“As for the Export Import Bank, House leaders had promised they were prepared to allow the bank’s reauthorization to lapse later this month. After all, the bank has almost no impact on the nation’s $2 trillion a year export industry. Yet, at the behest of the very few special interests that benefit from the bank, now leaders say they are prepared to pass a supposed ‘temporary’ Ex-Im reauthorization. The plan is to push the issue until after the elections, so that members can come back later and do a full five year deal on Ex-Im when voters can’t do a thing about it. What a cynical joke. The authorization should just be allowed to lapse.”

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 Nathan Mehrens.

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