No more IMF money for Greece, and defund IMF $100 billion credit line

July 1, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to Greece’s default on $1.7 billion of International Monetary Fund (IMF) debt, a U.S. taxpayer funded institution:

“The IMF was never supposed to fund developed countries like Greece, Ireland, or Portugal, yet in the financial crisis these three countries have borrowed a whopping $54 billion from it, accounting for 55 percent of all its current outstanding loans. All that time the American people were assured that there was zero risk of default, a façade that has now been exposed as pure vapor with Greece’s $1.7 billion missed payment to the IMF.

“Not one more penny should go to bailing out European socialist governments and the banks that lent them the money. Congress should prohibit the use of any funds created by the $100 billion New Arrangements to Borrow credit line, a 2009 expansion initiated by the Obama administration from being used for any purpose. In addition, it is the duty of Congress to prohibit the use of quota funds to cover any obligations owed by Greece to the IMF—now totaling $23.6 billion.

“If the Obama administration wants to support Greece or any other bankrupt government financially, he should have to go to Congress to request the funds as the Constitution mandates.”

Attachments:

“U.S-backed IMF loans prolong Greece’s agony,” By Robert Romano, June 10, 2015 at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/06/u-s-backed-imf-loans-prolong-greeces-agony/

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 Congress to defund Antiquities Act

June 26, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Congress to defund implementation of the Antiquities Act:

“President Obama has bragged about his use of his pen and phone to impose changes that he wants whether Congress agrees or not. This threat combined with the President’s climate obsession makes it particularly important that Congress take action by defunding any future use of the Antiquities Act for Fiscal Year 2016 to prevent the unilateral taking of land for the purpose of removing it from legitimate resource development usage.

“It is incumbent upon Congress to prevent this President from continuing to take millions of acres of land off the public rolls in order to block energy development.

“Our nation is enjoying an energy renaissance due to efforts of entrepreneurs leasing private and state government lands, while energy development on federal lands has been in a decline due to Obama’s extremist agenda.   Defunding the President’s capacity to extend and expand his anti-energy independence penchant in the House Interior Appropriation bill is a common sense approach to use the power of the purse to protect America’s energy future.”

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. Cruz votes to protect the Internet

June 25, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for offering an amendment to the Dotcom Act in the Senate Commerce Committee (final vote 5-19) that would have required congressional approval of any relinquishment of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN):

“Sen. Cruz has voted to affirm U.S. government oversight of the IANA functions that has guaranteed a free and open Internet for almost two decades. Sadly other members of the Senate Commerce Committee did not see it that way, and the Dotcom Act passed. Americans for Limited Government praises Sen. Cruz for voting to protect the Internet.

“It is alarming the speed with which members of both chambers of Congress are willing to cede U.S. sovereignty to an unaccountable private foundation that is now establishing a global monopoly over DNS resolution. Free of government oversight, there will no longer be any First Amendment protections for the Internet, guaranteeing the IANA functions will one day be used to engage in censorship. In the not so distant future, the Internet will not be so free and open. With his vote, Sen. Cruz tried to warn us, and Americans for Limited Government thanks him for his courage to stand up and protect the Internet from foreign powers.”

Attachments:

Sen. Ted Cruz statement before the Senate Commerce Committee, June 25, 2015 at http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=fc4ffe29-8386-43aa-835f-2703329209a5&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=81506421-e467-4ad2-906c-c415ff3467f4 :

“Mr. Chairman, I’d like to offer Cruz amendment 1. I want to commend the chairman and the authors of this bill. I think this is a good faith effort to begin to provide congressional oversight over this exceptionally important topic, which is namely the administration’s announced intention to hand over control of the Internet to a multinational, multiparty group. Everyone on this committee I think believes that the Internet is important for commerce, that it’s important for entrepreneurial freedom, that it’s important for the First Amendment. Unfortunately this [bill] provides congressional oversight but it sets the presumption that if Congress doesn’t act in 30 days, the administration can go forward with its stated intention. My amendment simply reverses that presumption and says that the contract has to maintain in place unless Congress acts. You know, there has been a persistent pattern for a number of years of Congress acquiescing and handing over our authority. The Constitution gives legal authority to this body and over and over again, members of this body have been willing to give away our constitutional authority. If it is a good idea constituent with U.S. national security interests, to hand over, to give away the Internet then Congress should debate that and approve it. If this bill is passed in its current form here’s a look into what will happen. The report will be submitted to Congress, 30 days will pass, Congress will do nothing, and then the Internet will be handed over. We should act affirmatively to protect the Internet. And I would not one of the many reasons for doing so is that under the explicit text of the Constitution, Article IV, Section 3 , the Constitution provides, ‘Congress shall have the power to dispose of … property belonging to the United States.’ It is only Congress, it is not the Assistant Secretary of Commerce, that has that authority, and under the text of the ICANN contract, it states, ‘All deliverables under this contract become the property of the U.S. Government,’ and the Constitution gives only this body, Congress, the authority, to dispose of property of the U.S. government. Mr. Chairman, one of the problems with the current draft is it will most assuredly be argued in court by the Justice Department when Commerce goes ahead with the giveaway of the Internet that this act has implicitly overridden the contract and authorized the giveaway of federal property. Namely that the opening sentence of this bill provides, ‘Until the date that is 30 legislative days after the submission to Congress of the report described in subsection (b), the Assistant Secretary may not permit the NTIA’s role in the performance of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions to terminate, lapse, be cancelled, or otherwise cease to be in effect.’ The Department of Justice lawyers will certainly argue that that implicitly authorizes doing exactly that, once 30 days have passed. I think the members on this committee will bear responsibility for the consequences of that.”

“Can Ted Cruz save the Internet?” By Robert Romano, June 24, 2015 at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/06/can-ted-cruz-save-the-internet/

Amendment to the Dotcom Act, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), June 24, 2015 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Cruz-DOTCOM-Act-Amendment.pdf

Letter to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, June 24, 2015 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DotComActSenateCommerceLetter-6-24-15.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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Senate Commerce Committee surrenders U.S. oversight of the Internet

June 25, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting the Senate Commerce Committee for rejecting by a 5-19 vote an amendment to the Dotcom Act by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that would have required Congressional approval of any relinquishment of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) to the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN):

“Once again, members of Congress are voting to surrender congressional authority to the Obama administration, without even an opportunity to see what they’re voting on. Nobody in Congress has seen ICANN’s proposal to commandeer Internet governance from the U.S. government, but the Senate Commerce committee has blindly just authorized whatever plan they might come up with. This is reckless. U.S. government oversight of the IANA functions has guaranteed a free and open Internet for almost two decades. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

“It is alarming the speed with which members of both chambers of Congress are willing to cede U.S. sovereignty to an unaccountable private foundation that is now establishing a global monopoly over DNS resolution. Free of government oversight, there will no longer be any First Amendment protections for the Internet, guaranteeing the IANA functions will one day be used to engage in censorship. In the not so distant future, the Internet will not be so free and open.”

Attachments:

Sen. Ted Cruz statement before the Senate Commerce Committee, June 25, 2015 at http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Hearings&ContentRecord_id=fc4ffe29-8386-43aa-835f-2703329209a5&ContentType_id=14f995b9-dfa5-407a-9d35-56cc7152a7ed&Group_id=81506421-e467-4ad2-906c-c415ff3467f4 :

“Mr. Chairman, I’d like to offer Cruz amendment 1. I want to commend the chairman and the authors of this bill. I think this is a good faith effort to begin to provide congressional oversight over this exceptionally important topic, which is namely the administration’s announced intention to hand over control of the Internet to a multinational, multiparty group. Everyone on this committee I think believes that the Internet is important for commerce, that it’s important for entrepreneurial freedom, that it’s important for the First Amendment. Unfortunately this [bill] provides congressional oversight but it sets the presumption that if Congress doesn’t act in 30 days, the administration can go forward with its stated intention. My amendment simply reverses that presumption and says that the contract has to maintain in place unless Congress acts. You know, there has been a persistent pattern for a number of years of Congress acquiescing and handing over our authority. The Constitution gives legal authority to this body and over and over again, members of this body have been willing to give away our constitutional authority. If it is a good idea constituent with U.S. national security interests, to hand over, to give away the Internet then Congress should debate that and approve it. If this bill is passed in its current form here’s a look into what will happen. The report will be submitted to Congress, 30 days will pass, Congress will do nothing, and then the Internet will be handed over. We should act affirmatively to protect the Internet. And I would not one of the many reasons for doing so is that under the explicit text of the Constitution, Article IV, Section 3 , the Constitution provides, ‘Congress shall have the power to dispose of … property belonging to the United States.’ It is only Congress, it is not the Assistant Secretary of Commerce, that has that authority, and under the text of the ICANN contract, it states, ‘All deliverables under this contract become the property of the U.S. Government,’ and the Constitution gives only this body, Congress, the authority, to dispose of property of the U.S. government. Mr. Chairman, one of the problems with the current draft is it will most assuredly be argued in court by the Justice Department when Commerce goes ahead with the giveaway of the Internet that this act has implicitly overridden the contract and authorized the giveaway of federal property. Namely that the opening sentence of this bill provides, ‘Until the date that is 30 legislative days after the submission to Congress of the report described in subsection (b), the Assistant Secretary may not permit the NTIA’s role in the performance of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions to terminate, lapse, be cancelled, or otherwise cease to be in effect.’ The Department of Justice lawyers will certainly argue that that implicitly authorizes doing exactly that, once 30 days have passed. I think the members on this committee will bear responsibility for the consequences of that.”

“Can Ted Cruz save the Internet?” By Robert Romano, June 24, 2015 at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/06/can-ted-cruz-save-the-internet/

Amendment to the Dotcom Act, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), June 24, 2015 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Cruz-DOTCOM-Act-Amendment.pdf

Letter to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, June 24, 2015 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/DotComActSenateCommerceLetter-6-24-15.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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House authorizes Internet giveaway

June 23, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting House passage of HR 805, the Dotcom Act:

“Just weeks after voting to defund the National Telecommunications and Information Administration from transitioning the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority to ICANN, the House has now voted to authorize it upon a meaningless report being submitted by the Obama administration. Americans for Limited Government urges the U.S. Senate to reject this legislation. There is simply no reason for Congress to grant power to Obama that will cede the First Amendment protections that U.S. government oversight of the Internet’s domain name system affords.”

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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Vote NO on the Dotcom Act

June 23, 2015, Fairfax, Va.–Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging opposition to HR 805, The Dotcom Act:

“We urge the House to stop the Dotcom Act, legislation which threatens to provide de facto authorization of Obama’s Internet transfer scheme.

“The House has wisely chosen on two separate occasions to oppose Obama’s Internet giveaway, by prohibiting it via the appropriations process. The Dotcom Act is at best superfluous and at worst enables the administration to give away the Internet in exchange for what amounts to a book report by NTIA.

“The contempt that the Commerce Department’s NTIA has for Congressional authority to approve or disapprove the transition has been demonstrated by the short shrift they gave in answering reporting requirements in the Cromnibus. NTIA was supposed to produce a contingency plan should the Internet giveaway prove to be deleterious to U.S. interests. Instead the agency merely assured Congress that it would not be, failing to meet the most rudimentary expectations under the required reporting.

“This contempt for Congress extends to the international multistakeholder community, where in Buenos Aires today, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade has declared that the transition will now be complete by June 30, 2016, in spite of the fact that NTIA is currently prohibited under federal law from performing the transition, and the House just voted to extend that prohibition.

“It makes zero sense for Congress to undermine the power of the purse with weak legislation that will not stop the Internet giveaway. A vote to stop the Dotcom Act will allow full discussion of the ramifications of the Dotcom Act and hopefully suitable amendments to protect Congress’ power to approve or disapprove the transfer.”

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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Fast track advances in the Senate

June 23, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting Senate advancement of trade authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“The imminent passage of fast track trade authority ensures that the next year in Congress will be consumed with discussion of Obama’s trade deals. It is incumbent on every member in both the House and Senate who trusted Obama with this enormous grant of power to perform due diligence and to reject any agreement that is not in the best interests of the U.S.

“Congress has voted to make the next 18 months of the Obama administration about rewriting the rules of the world economy. Members made this bed and now they must lie in it. The unchangeable nature of a fast tracked agreement forces Congress to vote no should they find any provision which is an unacceptable usurpation of U.S. law. Congress ultimately bears the responsibility to ensure that Obama’s deals do not fundamentally transform America.”

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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Cruz opposes trade authority, Inhofe and Vitter urged to follow

June 23, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) announced opposition to granting trade authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“Ted Cruz’s announcement that he is changing his vote and will be opposing cloture on trade authority as it devolves into a ‘corrupt Washington backroom deal’ puts the focus on Louisiana Senator David Vitter and Oklahoma’s James Inhofe as being the two deciders on whether President Obama gets more power.

“Four things have changed since they supported fast track authority that should compel them to join Senator Cruz in rejecting what’s been called a bad, bad deal: 1) Their fellow former colleague Jim Demint blasted the deal as ‘free trade in name only’ exposing the myth that Obama has been perpetuating; 2) immigration language within the trade and services agreement was leaked through Wikileaks and there can no longer be any illusion that Obama’s trade deals will lead to foreign driven changes of U.S. immigration law; 3) Australia’s trade minister admitted the TPP was one week of negotiations away from completion, dispelling the notion that the Congress’ negotiating objectives are meaningful; and 4) Senator Cruz after providing the conservative cover for Republicans voting for the bill has taken stock of that position and found that no matter benefits of fast track, President Obama cannot be trusted.

“After months of debate, there is no excuse for anyone to give this President any more power, who has shown nothing but contempt for Congress’ constitutional prerogatives. Senators who vote yes on clotures bear responsibility for all of its negatives and will come to regret this vote for the rest of their careers. We urge a no vote on cloture.”

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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Dotcom Act authorizes Internet giveaway

June 23, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging House opposition to H.R. 805, “The Dotcom Act”:

“Just last month, the House voted overwhelmingly to defund in the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill any National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) transition of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions to an outside entity. This followed similar language being adopted in the Omnibus Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015 that blocked the Internet governance transfer.

“Now, the House is set to undermine this vote by authorizing the giveaway via H.R. 805, ‘The Dotcom Act’ — just as soon as, quoting the bill itself, ‘the Comptroller General of the United States submits [a] report… on the role of the NTIA with respect to the Internet domain name system.’

“That’s it. The U.S. government after nearly 20 years of oversight of the domain name system that has ensured a free and open Internet with First Amendment protections will just up and give away this invaluable government property in return for little more than a book report. It makes one wonder why this Congress exists at all as it devolves into little more than a rubber stamp for Obama’s reckless agenda.”

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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3 reasons for the Senate to change its mind on trade authority

June 22, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the Senate to reconsider its support of granting trade authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“Americans for Limited Government strongly urges the Senate to vote against the cloture motion on legislation that would provide President Obama fast track trade authority.  Three things have occurred since the Senate last voted on fast track which should cause any thinking Senator to change from a yes to no vote.

“First there is a great deal information that has come out about the Trans-Pacific Partnership that makes it clear that this agreement needs full and thorough Senate scrutiny.  The TPP is a living agreement subject to change after ratification, additional partners can be added to the TPP without Senate approval, and the TPP sets up a governing structure much like the Common Market — the predecessor to the European Union.  It would be extremely unwise to allow an agreement with such massive national implications to be fast tracked.

“Second, the upcoming Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) that will be fast tracked has explicit immigration language that has been leaked through Wikileaks.  Under fast track, Congress cannot amend any agreement and once fast tracked, no submitted agreement has ever been defeated.  A vote for fast track is a vote for the immigration language in TISA.

“Third, formerly supportive conservative leaders like Senator Jim DeMint, of the Heritage Foundation, have become convinced that the agreements are “Free Trade in Name Only” and have come out against fast track in the past few weeks.

“Just last week, the Australian Finance Minister reports is one week of negotiation away from completion. The illusion that the negotiating objectives contained in fast track language somehow bind Obama when he’s already pretty much done negotiating can no longer be sustained.

“With the concerns over the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, there simply is no reason not to tell President Obama to sign and submit it under constitutional rules for treaty ratification, before the Senate grants fast track, and then only by the requisite two-thirds majority.”

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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