ALG urges votes to protect the Internet with Sen. Mike Lee amendments

March 26, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today urged the U.S. Senate to hold up or down votes on amending the budget resolution to include S.Amdt. 751 and S.Amdt. 856 offered by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah):

“The Internet is the great democratizer of speech around the world. The amendments offered by Senator Mike Lee are about protecting the free and open Internet from two separate but equally important threats: foreign domination and excessive government regulation.

“The first amendment will guarantee that any proposal to transition Internet governance over the domain name system from Commerce Department oversight will require Congressional assent, giving proper oversight to any administration proposal. This will protect the domain name system from any potential foreign capture and protect the free and open Internet — everywhere.

“The second will roll back the Federal Communications Commission’s alarming change to the Communications Act, applying Title II to Internet broadband, and assure that only Congress has the power to make such a change to law. Whatever the merits of so-called net neutrality, it is not up to the executive branch to regulate the Internet at will, which is what happened here. It’s an awful precedent, and it is up to Congress to assert its legislative prerogatives here.

“The Internet may be free but that freedom is also quite fragile, and it would be naïve for this Congress to ignore these obvious threats to it. Votes should be allowed on Senator Lee’s amendments.”

Attachments:

S.Amdt. 751, To establish a spending-neutral reserve fund to support legislation maintaining United States oversight over functions of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and preventing the United States from transferring such Internet responsibilities, at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Lee-856-Net-Neutrality.pdf

S.Amdt. 856, To establish a spending-neutral reserve fund to support legislation preventing the Federal Communications Commission from reclassifying broadband providers as common carriers under title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and from implementing other ‘‘net neutrality’’ provisions, at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Lee-856-Net-Neutrality.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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Medicare deal expands gov’t, postpones real fixes

March 24, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging rejection of a new bipartisan deal to eliminate the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate:

“It is disappointing that the so-called bipartisan Medicare deal eliminates one of the few cost-containment measures in the program without adequately replacing it with anything that deals with the immediate exploding costs of the program. Instead, the measure will rely on small but politically toxic out-year cuts to the benefits of those who actually saved for their retirements. These cuts could be political poison for a future Congress.

“The doc fix conversation that was forced by the sustainable growth rate was a good thing. It created a regular legislative discussion around the expanding costs of Medicare and the threat posed to our nation’s financial security. Now, under this deal that honest discussion has been traded for a fix that fails to save the program, creates massive amounts of new debt, and locks in some of Obama’s expanded social welfare spending as part of the deal.

“Unfortunately, as the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget reports, this deal could add as much as $400 billion to the debt over the next 20 years, and do little to nothing to slow down the exhaustion of the trust fund over the next 15 years. In the mean time, there still is no opt-out for younger Americans who will now be expected to pay into a program that may not be adequate when they retire.

“If this Congress was serious about saving the Medicare program, they would institute their reforms right now, which will be no less jarring in 2018 when they finally take effect. This kick-the-can approach guarantees that taxpayers will assume the increased costs of the program, and postpones the pain for a future Congress to deal with.”

To view online: http://getliberty.org/medicare-deal-expands-govt-postpones-real-fixes/

Attachments:

“Meet the Med-fix, the new doc-fix,” By Robert Romano, March 18, 2015 at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/03/meet-the-med-fix-the-new-doc-fix/

“Unpaid for doc fix could add $2.3 trillion to Medicare unfunded liabilities,” By Robert Romano, March 19, 2015 at http://netrightdaily.com/2015/03/unpaid-for-doc-fix-could-add-2-3-trillion-to-medicare-unfunded-liabilities/

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 calls for Lindsey Graham resignation for proposing military coup

March 12, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today called for the resignation of presidential hopeful Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for suggesting at a New Hampshire event his first act as president would be to use the military to force Congress to end sequestration (see video), saying, “Here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States. I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts”:

“Senator Lindsey Graham’s statement that for his first act as president, he ‘would literally use the military to keep Congress in if I had to’ followed by ‘We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts… We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts’ while campaigning in New Hampshire is the most troubling statement uttered by a supposedly serious candidate for President in my memory.

“The very fact that Graham has the imagery of M1 Abrams tanks surrounding the Capitol building to force Congress to do his bidding is so far removed from any Constitutional framework, that Graham should not only withdraw from the Presidential race, but should immediately resign from the Senate. This is no laughing matter. And then his spokesman says the comment should not be taken literally?

“There literally is no place in our elective government for someone who advocates a military solution against those elected to do the will of the people when he doesn’t get his way.  The same Congress that expresses concern about President Obama’s seemingly daily abuse of power should immediately move to censure the senior Senator from South Carolina and the people of that state should demand his immediate removal from office.”

To view online: http://getliberty.org/alg-calls-for-lindsey-graham-resignation-for-proposing-military-coup/

Attachments:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) speaking at “Politics and Pie” event hosted by the Concord City Republican Committee, stating, “Here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States. I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We are not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts.” March 8, 2015 at http://benswann.com/graham-military-force-congress/

The military line was “not to be taken literally,” according to Graham spokesman Kevin Bishop, March 12, 2015 at http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-03-12/how-a-lindsey-graham-joke-turned-into-a-coup-plot-against-the-government

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 Steve Russell for ‘Right track, not fast track’ stance

March 11, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Rep. Steve Russell (R-Okla.) for opposing granting fast track trade promotion authority to President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“Rep. Russell is correct to oppose giving Obama such an extraordinary grant of power to present the Trans-Pacific Partnership to Congress without any possibility of amending its contents and sacrificing the traditional two-thirds majority required for a treaty. After Obama has seized so many legislative powers from Congress, why would Republicans now give him a free pass to rewrite the rules of the global economy? As Russell states, the American people must be at the table for such an important agreement. Enough with ceding Congressional prerogatives to the executive branch. It’s time for Congress to do its job.”

Attachments:

“Right track, not fast track,” By Rep. Steve Russell, March 11, 2015 at http://thehill.com/opinion/op-ed/235238-right-track-not-fast-track

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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354,000 leave labor force, driving unemployment rate down

 March 6, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the latest jobs numbers:

“If the Bureau of Labor Statistics February household survey is to be believed, the unemployment rate dropped by 0.2 percent, with only 96,000 more Americans finding employment.  Shockingly, a seasonally adjusted 354,000 more people dropped out the civilian labor force, accounting for most of the drop in the jobless rate. On an unadjusted basis, 56 percent of those who left according to the agency were under the age of 65. So, while some are cheering this report as being good news, the sad truth is that about a quarter million more Americans gave up hope of finding work.  That is an economic disaster.”

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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75 Republicans who voted to fund amnesty

March 5, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement condemning 75 House Republicans who voted to fund President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty for 4.5 million illegal immigrants with U.S.-born children:

“The vote to fund President Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty will have a profound negative impact on our nation for years to come. The 75 Republicans who lost courage have aided and abetted the shredding of the U.S. Constitution by giving Obama the funds to rewrite federal law.

“Each of these Republicans took an oath of office less than two months prior to their vote. And in that oath, they swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. Their failure may forever put Congress in a junior rubberstamp role for any presidential action. There is a time when every elected official is forced to make a choice. Unfortunately, the cowardly 75 chose to violate their oaths and break trust with America.

“I sincerely hope that the 75 find the heart to stand up to the President in the many upcoming battles.”

Attachments:

75 House Republicans who voted in favor of H.R. 749 at http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2015/roll109.xml :

Dan Benishek
MICHIGAN’s 1st DISTRICT

Mike Bishop
MICHIGAN’s 8th DISTRICT

John Boehner
OHIO’s 8th DISTRICT

Mike Bost
ILLINOIS’ 12th DISTRICT

Susan Brooks
INDIANA’s 5th DISTRICT

Vern Buchanan
FLORIDA’s 16th DISTRICT

Ken Calvert
CALIFORNIA’s 42nd DISTRICT

John Carter
TEXAS’ 31st DISTRICT

Mike Coffman
COLORADO’s 6th DISTRICT

Tom Cole
OKLAHOMA’s 4th DISTRICT

Chris Collins
NEW YORK’s 27th DISTRICT

Barbara Comstock
VIRGINIA’s 10th DISTRICT

Ryan Costello
PENNSYLVANIA’s 6th DISTRICT

Carlos Curbelo
FLORIDA’s 26th DISTRICT

Rodney L. Davis
ILLINOIS’ 13th DISTRICT

Jeff Denham
CALIFORNIA’s 10th DISTRICT

Charlie Dent
PENNSYLVANIA’s 15th DISTRICT

Mario Diaz-Balart
FLORIDA’s 25th DISTRICT

Robert Dold
ILLINOIS’ 10th DISTRICT

Renee Ellmers
NORTH CAROLINA’s 2nd DISTRICT

Tom Emmer
MINNESOTA’s 6th DISTRICT

Mike Fitzpatrick
PENNSYLVANIA’s 8th DISTRICT

Rodney Frelinghuysen
NEW JERSEY’s 11th DISTRICT

Chris Gibson
NEW YORK’s 19th DISTRICT

Kay Granger
TEXAS’ 12th DISTRICT

Frank Guinta
NEW HAMPSHIRE’s 1st DISTRICT

Richard Hanna
NEW YORK’s 22nd DISTRICT

Crescent Hardy
NEVADA’s 4th DISTRICT

Joe Heck
NEVADA’s 3rd DISTRICT

Will Hurd
TEXAS’ 23rd DISTRICT

David Jolly
FLORIDA’s 13th DISTRICT

John Katko
NEW YORK’s 24th DISTRICT

Peter King
NEW YORK’s 2nd DISTRICT

Adam Kinzinger
ILLINOIS’ 16th DISTRICT

John Kline
MINNESOTA’s 2nd DISTRICT

Steve Knight
CALIFORNIA’s 25th DISTRICT

Leonard Lance
NEW JERSEY’s 7th DISTRICT

Frank LoBiondo
NEW JERSEY’s 2nd DISTRICT

Tom MacArthur
NEW JERSEY’s 3rd DISTRICT

Kevin McCarthy
CALIFORNIA’s 23rd DISTRICT

Michael McCaul
TEXAS’ 10th DISTRICT

Patrick McHenry
NORTH CAROLINA’s 10th DISTRICT

Cathy McMorris Rodgers
WASHINGTON’s 5th DISTRICT

Martha McSally
ARIZONA’s 2nd DISTRICT

Patrick Meehan
PENNSYLVANIA’s 7th DISTRICT

Candice Miller
MICHIGAN’s 10th DISTRICT

John Moolenaar
MICHIGAN’s 4th DISTRICT

Tim Murphy
PENNSYLVANIA’s 18th DISTRICT

Kristi Noem
SOUTH DAKOTA

Devin Nunes
CALIFORNIA’s 22nd DISTRICT

Erik Paulsen
MINNESOTA’s 3rd DISTRICT

Robert Pittenger
NORTH CAROLINA’s 9th DISTRICT

Joe Pitts
PENNSYLVANIA’s 16th DISTRICT

Bruce Poliquin
MAINE’s 2nd DISTRICT

Dave Reichert
WASHINGTON’s 8th DISTRICT

Hal Rogers
KENTUCKY’s 5th DISTRICT

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
FLORIDA’s 27th DISTRICT

Ed Royce
CALIFORNIA’s 39th DISTRICT

Paul Ryan
WISCONSIN’s 1st DISTRICT

Steve Scalise
LOUISIANA’s 1st DISTRICT

Aaron Schock
ILLINOIS’ 18th DISTRICT

John Shimkus
ILLINOIS’ 15th DISTRICT

Mike Simpson
IDAHO’s 2nd DISTRICT

Christopher Smith
NEW JERSEY’s 4th DISTRICT

Elise Stefanik
NEW YORK’s 21st DISTRICT

Steve Stivers
OHIO’s 15th DISTRICT

Glenn Thompson
PENNSYLVANIA’s 5th DISTRICT

Pat Tiberi
OHIO’s 12th DISTRICT

Dave Trott
MICHIGAN’s 11th DISTRICT

Michael Turner
OHIO’s 10th DISTRICT

Fred Upton
MICHIGAN’s 6th DISTRICT

David Valadao
CALIFORNIA’s 21st DISTRICT

Greg Walden
OREGON’s 2nd DISTRICT

Mimi Walters
CALIFORNIA’s 45th DISTRICT

Todd Young
INDIANA’s 9th DISTRICT

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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FCC skips Congress, approves Net regs

Feb. 26, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) 3-2 vote in favor of new so-called “net neutrality” regulations (partial transcript of meeting enclosed):

“The FCC has voted to do that which Congress has denied — and that’s essentially to rewrite the 1934 Communications Act to treat broadband Internet as a utility under Title II. Whatever the merits of ‘net neutrality,’ the fact is that this entire process has been designed to avert the traditional, constitutional lawmaking process. It also creates much regulatory uncertainty, since broadband was previously treated as exempt ‘information services’ providers by the FCC in 2002. This is a dysfunctional regulatory precedent where an agency can simply change its interpretation of law depending on the partisan composition of the board. That is not the rule of law, it is rule by executive decree. Why even have a Congress?

“This new rule, when it is finally published, as anyone familiar with public utilities knows, will guarantee higher rates, less competition, and a regulatory burden that stifles innovation. It is nothing more than authoritarian overreach, an extra-legal assault on our system of government. The Obama regime continues its track record of disregard and disdain for precedent, the Constitution and simple fairness.”

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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Senators Sullivan and Nelson ask tough questions of NTIA at Internet governance hearing

Legal authority to perform Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions transition to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and the global multistakeholder community questioned

Feb. 25, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) for the questions they asked National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) head Lawrence Strickling at today’s Internet governance hearing at the Senate Commerce Committee:

“Americans for Limited Government strongly praises Senator Nelson and Senator Sullivan for asking the tough questions of NTIA and asserting Congressional prerogatives over any transfer of Internet governance to the international community. These are the questions that need to be asked of an administration that is hell-bent on averting Congressional votes granting legal authority for the Internet transfer, and so Congress should continue to deny that authority. No less than the First Amendment protections for the Internet afforded by a government contract are at stake.

“In fact, we are astonished that almost one year after NTIA announced the Internet governance transfer, the agency still refuses to provide the agency’s actual legal authority document to perform the transfer. It is amazing Mr. Strickling was unable to assure Senator Sullivan that he could produce the legal opinion, despite previous numerous Congressional requests, media inquiries from the Wall Street Journal, and even an almost one-year old Freedom of Information Act request from Americans for Limited Government. It is becoming increasingly concerning that the agency may have proceeded with the Internet transfer without ever having received even an internal legal opinion of the authority to perform the transfer.”

Attachments:

Senator Dan Sullivan questioning NTIA head Lawrence Strickling, Feb. 25, 2015 at http://www.senate.gov/isvp/?type=LIVE&comm=commerce&filename=commerce022515&stt=01:26:25

Sullivan: “There’s been a lot of articles in the paper very concerned about this, as I certainly am, but one of those has actually raised a very important issue that I’d also like you to address is your legal authority to do this. Again, another issue with this administration I have a problem with is taking action where you have no legal authority. Under the Constitution, the Congress has the power to transfer federal government property. [IANA functions] is federal government property, it is valuable property, and I don’t think you’ve been authorized by Congress to take this action yet.”

Strickling: “There is no government property that is the subject of this contract. All the contract does is designate ICANN to perform the IANA functions. They were given no assets of the United States with which to perform these functions. The domain name file is—“

Sullivan: “Is there a Commerce Department legal opinion on this issue?”

Strickling: “Yes there is, sir.”

Sullivan: “Can we see that?”

Strickling: “I’ll take that back, I’m not in a position to say yes or no but I will [take your request back].”

Senator Bill Nelson questioning NTIA head Lawrence Strickling, Feb. 25, 2015 at http://www.senate.gov/isvp/?type=LIVE&comm=commerce&filename=commerce022515&stt=02:11:25

Nelson: “Last year, in the omnibus appropriations, a rider was placed that prevents NTIA from spending funds on the transition to IANA contract before September 30 of this year, 2015. Can you explain NTIA’s interpretation of that rider, Mr. Secretary?”

Strickling: “We have interpreted that resolution or interpreted that language to prevent us from allowing the transition to occure before September 30… In consultations with members and staffs up here on the Hill, we sought to clarify whether that would in any way restrict our ability to monitor the transition planning process which is going on in the community, and is not subject to any restrictions in the legislation and in fact as you know the rider imposes reporting requirements on us. It was clear Congress intended us to continue to monitor the process and report back on what’s happening. And then within that we had also indicated that our need and I think the needs of serving American interests that we provide feedback where we thought it was appropriate, and we have engaged in that. Again, I’m very careful not to steer decision-making one way or antoher but I think through a series of questions that we’ve been asking and will continue to ask we are trying to make sure the process considers all the issues before reaching a final result. But we take very seriously the fact that no transition will take place before September 30.”

Nelson: “What happens if that rider is continued?”

Strickling: “Again, I wouldn’t want to speculate on that. I’m hopeful that the process within the community will result in a proposal that will demonstrate to Congress and the valid concerns people have up here about the process that in fact it’s being handled in a responsible fashion, that the transition will meet the conditions, and that there will be no need to extend that particular provision past September 30.”

Nelson: “Well, is the world going to stop revolving if it is extended?”

Strickling: “I don’t like to speculate on what will or won’t happen in the future, but I’m pretty confident the world won’t stop revolving, yes, sir.”

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 responds to Rep. Emmer letter on fast track trade promotion authority on TPP

Feb. 25, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today in a letter to Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and House Republicans responded to the Congressman’s push in favor of granting fast track trade promotion authority (TPA) to President Barack Obama on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“There continues to be a misconception that TPA will allow Congress to set objectives for negotiations, in particular as they relate to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal,” wrote Manning in his letter.

Manning was responding to a dear colleague letter from Rep. Emmer obtained by Americans for Limited Government that told fellow House members that “Through TPA, Congress establishes the negotiating objectives for the Administration and ensures that Congress is consulted closely throughout the negotiations.”

To which, Manning responded, “Congress can demand anything it wants, but President Obama is under no legal requirement to follow those demands. In fact, the only way that Congress has to impose its will on a negotiating process is to force any treaty submitted to be subjected to full and transparent scrutiny, including the ability to amend objectionable sections. Under TPA, this ability to fix highly objectionable areas is voted away.”

The Americans for Limited Government letter to Emmer also noted that the Obama administration was already disregarding Congressional appeals for the trade representative to address currency manipulation: “Given that the U.S. Trade Representative testified earlier this year before the Senate that he chose to disregard a letter signed by a majority of the House and Senate urging that currency manipulation be included in any prospective deal, it is clear that President Obama has no more regard for Congressional input in this area than he has shown on immigration.”

Trade promotion authority is expected come up in both the House and Senate as early as next month.

Attachments:

Americans for Limited Government letter to Rep. Tom Emmer, Feb. 25, 2015 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/LettertoEmmerandHouseGOP2-25-15.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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ALG reacts to Obama Keystone veto

Feb. 24, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline:

“President Obama’s veto of the bi-partisan Keystone XL pipeline legislation is just one more example of this President’s my way or the highway approach.  This veto should strengthen Republican resolve to stand on principle and lay down legislative markers for 2017, rather than kowtow to a President who views his role as Obstructionist in Chief.”

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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