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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House GOP urged to support Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016

Jan. 13, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging members of the House of Representatives to cosponsor H.R. 4371, the Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016, by U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.):

“Rep. Ken Buck has wisely consolidated many of the missed opportunities from the omnibus to rein in Obama’s radical agenda in his final year in office. Buck’s legislation, H.R. 4371, includes defunds and riders that largely have already been fully vetted by the House of Representatives covering the EPA, Labor Department, Obama’s illegal immigration amnesty and many other areas of executive overreach. Rep. Buck’s legislation provides a pathway for Congress to reassert its Article I constitutional authority. Every House Republican should cosponsor the Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016.”

Get full story here: http://getliberty.org/house-gop-urged-to-support-article-i-consolidated-appropriations-amendments-of-2016/

Attachments:

H.R. 4371, The Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments of 2016, Jan. 12, 2016 at https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4371/text

Dear Colleague Letter, Rep. Ken Buck, Jan. 13, 2016:

January 13, 2016

Dear Colleague,

Article I serves as the Constitutional bulwark against consolidation of power in the executive branch. According to Article I, Congress, which directly represents the collective will of the nation, has the authority to decide how much, and in what way, taxpayer dollars are spent.

But executive branch overreach and judicial branch intervention have appropriated the power originally granted to Congress by the Constitution. Federal government spending has consequently ballooned out-of-control. New regulations have killed jobs and cost small businesses. Executive orders have fundamentally altered America’s statutory code. The President, often with the judicial branch’s consent, has wrested power away from the legislative branch. In so doing, the President has muted the voice of the people, who decide how the government affects their lives and destinies through the voice of their Representatives.

To recalibrate the Constitutional structure of the federal government, Congress must reassert its power of the purse. The Omnibus bill last December provided a perfect chance for Congress to set funding priorities and direct the policies carried out with those funds. Unfortunately, Congress failed to address its power deficit through the bill.

In 2016, we can and must do better, and that is why I am introducing the Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments, 2016 to provide a consolidated platform of many of the riders and defunds that were discussed but not enacted in the Omnibus.  Many of these important actions already have separate legislative vehicles and their inclusion in this legislation is complimentary to those separate efforts.

Many of the items included in the Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments, 2016 have already passed as an appropriations rider by the House of Representatives, or were included in underlying appropriations bills that have gone through the Committee process. By doing our work, House Republicans have laid out a counterbalance to President Obama’s wholesale assault on free markets and individual liberties.

Article I Consolidated Appropriations Amendments, 2016 consolidates some of this work in the hopes of providing each House Republican a solid platform from which to begin the process of reclaiming Congress’ rightful place in our Constitutional government.

H.R. 4371 includes the following provisions (in addition to several others):

  • Places a moratorium on any new rules or regulations proposed by the executive branch
  • Prevents ambush union elections
  • Defunds President Obama’s illegal executive action on immigration
  • Makes the Census’s American Community Survey voluntary
  • Defunds the EPA’s Waters of the U.S. Regulations
  • Prohibits HUD from implementing, enforcing or administering the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulations
  • Blocks harmful regulations that would debilitate mining operations
  • Blocks union representatives from participating in OSHA walk-arounds
  • Restricts grant funding to sanctuary cities
  • Prevents IRS use of funds to implement Obamacare
  • Defunds of Obama’s coal fired plant rules.
  • Prohibits of the Justice Department from entering into settlements forcing defendants to fund third party groups.

If the legislative branch hopes to regain its rightful authority to legislate, then it must be willing to pass legislation that directly challenges the overreach of the executive branch.

Article I is not a keyword, a trend, a brand, or a Facebook graphic. It’s a principle that protects the Republic. But the Republic only benefits if Members of Congress assert their Constitutional mandate.  Please join me in sponsoring H.R. 4371, and let’s come together as a Conference behind these common principles.

Sincerely,

Ken Buck
Member of Congress

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 GOP to move mass criminal release bill in 2016

Jan. 11, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting plans by U.S. House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to push legislation in the next six months that will result in the mass, early release of thousands of felons from federal prison, who told Politico in an interview published Jan. 10 “I think criminal justice reform is probably the biggest [issue] we can make a difference on… There’s a real way forward on that”:

“Not to be outdone by President Barack Obama’s plan to begin releasing 46,290 drug offenders from federal prisons, Senate and House Republicans are stepping in with their own legislation to release thousands more, including crack offenders and those who committed felonies with firearms in their possession.

“House Speaker Paul Ryan is doubling down on this risky mass criminal release scheme by volunteering to push the same legislation through the House to somehow help brand the GOP as kinder and gentler. This is reckless. At the same time police are overwhelmed with record murders in cities like Baltimore and Chicago, gang problems, Islamist terrorists and the like, Ryan and House Republicans apparently want to help empty the federal prisons. But besides the adult prison population, defense attorneys and liberal elite professors at college campuses, who exactly is the constituency for allowing thousands of federal prison inmates go early?

“It is guaranteed that a large percentage of those released early will commit new crimes. In fact, a 2014 Bureau of Justice Statistics study tracked 404,638 state prisoners from 30 states released in 2005.  76.9 percent of drug offenders were re-arrested within five years with 25 percent of the offenses being violent crimes.  These crimes have real victims with dire consequences for communities.

“It is not compassionate to inject a new pool of hardened criminals into our communities, it is foolhardy, and unfortunately, it is the poorest of our nation’s citizens who will bear the brunt of it. Speaker Ryan should stop the madness of pushing this early criminal release bill through the House, because if he is successful, the surest bet on the planet is that people will die.”

Attachments:

“Why is Congress hell-bent on releasing thousands of dangerous criminals from federal prison early?” By Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning, Jan. 8, 2016 at http://netrightdaily.com/2016/01/why-is-congress-hell-bent-on-releasing-thousands-of-dangerous-criminals-from-federal-prison-early/

“Congress to authorize Obama’s early criminal release program?” By Americans for Limited Government senior editor Robert Romano, Oct. 14, 2015 at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/10/congress-to-authorize-obamas-early-criminal-release-program/

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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Obama drops IRS regulation to require non-profits to gather donor Social Security numbers

Jan. 7, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to the withdrawal by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of a regulation that would have required non-profit organizations to record to the Social Security numbers of donors:

“We are relieved that the IRS has withdrawn the excessive regulation that would have required non-profit groups to record the Social Security numbers of donors and submit them to the agency, creating glaring security and privacy issues in violation of their First Amendment rights. This is the second time the IRS has ham-handedly tried to increase their capacity to target and harass conservative non-profits in the last three years. The last time it was a regulation severely restricting the political activity of 501(c)(4) organizations, that similarly had to be withdrawn. Hopefully this latest dropping of a politically motivated regulation signals an end to Obama’s weaponization of the IRS.”

Attachments:

Comment on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Substantiation Requirement for Certain Contributions, Americans for Limited Government, Dec. 15, 2015 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ALG_IRS_Comment_12.15.15.pdf

Comment on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Substantiation Requirement for Certain Contributions, Americans for Limited Government Foundation, Dec. 14, 2015 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ALGF-Comment-to-IRS-Re-NPRM-on-Donor-Substantiation_12.14.15.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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