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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Obama should look in mirror on gun enforcement

Jan. 5, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to the announced executive action by the Obama administration on firearms:

“If Obama’s contention is that he is merely enforcing the law as written with his so-called executive action on firearms, and that he believes doing so can prevent more shootings, then Obama must be admitting that his apparent failure to enforce existing law makes him culpable for gun-related murders. Of course, Obama should enforce existing laws. He’s the President after all.

“Unfortunately, Obama’s record is of declining enforcement actions against illegal firearm dealers with only his Justice Department only generating about 200 convictions a year of illegal unlicensed gun sales. There is no loophole that prevents federal law enforcement officials from going after illegal unlicensed gun trafficking, otherwise, there would not be any convictions at all. Obama should urge the Department of Justice to aggressively investigate and prosecute real gun trafficking crimes involving real criminals and stop the politicized rhetoric against law-abiding gun owners.

“What is even more distressing is that while Obama blames law-abiding gun owners for violence, he hypocritically is releasing tens of thousands of felons from federal prisons, increasing the risk of repeated crimes. It would seem that with his tepid prosecution record and his felon release program that all Obama needs to do to find out who’s at fault is look in the mirror.”

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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Will Schumer react to NSA spying on Congress on Iran nuke deal?

Jan. 4, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement reacting to a Wall Street Journal report that National Security Agency (NSA) spying on Israeli officials netted conversations with members of Congress as they considered how to vote on the Iran nuclear deal:

“There is absolutely no excuse for the Obama administration to spy on Congress to gather information on an active piece of legislation, in this case the Iran nuclear deal. Congress has many roles in foreign policy, including the Treaty Power and consideration of other agreements with foreign governments. There has to be a bright line between those congressional deliberations and the executive branch on these agreements, which members are under no obligation to support. The executive branch can spy on any foreign government it wishes, but the moment it nets deliberations with members of Congress on active legislation, those conversations should have been immediately destroyed, not passed along.

“The most damning aspect of this is that reportedly the White House did not tell the NSA to stop once it knew it was intercepting conversations with Congress on what was an active political dispute between the branches of government. If true, these offenses would be impeachable. What did the President know and when did he know it? Congress was willing to impeach Richard Nixon, in Article 2, Section 2 of the Articles of Impeachment against him, for using electronic surveillance ‘for purposes unrelated to national security, the enforcement of laws, or any other lawful function of his office.’ Nixon resigned for similar surveillance against political enemies. You cannot say Nixon was horrible and had to go and then defend such an egregious abuse of power. There is too much at stake. Senate and House intelligence committees must convene hearings on this issue, and the Attorney General should appoint a special prosecutor immediately.

“To think what the NSA did was justified, you have to set aside the constitutional separation of powers and say it’s okay for the executive branch to spy on Congress whenever they meet with foreigners on legislation, which happens often when it comes to treaties, trade agreements and the like, just so the administration can win a domestic legislative debate. There is no other use these consultations would serve. These were legislative deliberations, not foreign intelligence. It cannot be both. Given the context, where the Israeli Prime Minister had been actively invited to Congress to speak on the issue, and was publicly opposed to the deal along with many members of Congress for perfectly valid reasons, there is no case to be made that this was espionage or a significant source of foreign intelligence.

“Not to be missed is, as the leading Senate Democrat opposed to the deal and perhaps the most heavily lobbied member of Congress on the issue, the strong likelihood that Senator Charles Schumer’s conversations were captured and forwarded to the White House. It has been a source of wonder that Schumer’s opposition was so ineffective in bringing other Democrats along, and it is reasonable to guess that the intelligence the NSA provided to the White House was used to thwart his efforts. One can be certain that if a Republican president had engaged in this illegal activity, Senator Schumer would be loudly calling for his or her impeachment. The integrity question for Schumer is whether he is willing to subject President Obama to those same standards, and lead an impeachment fight?”

Attachments:

NSA spying on Netanyahu, Congress over Iran nuke deal confirms worst fears, By Robert Romano, Dec. 31, 2015 at http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/12/31/nsa-spying-on-netanyahu-congress-over-iran-nuke-deal-confirms-worst-fears/

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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Debt jumps $677 billion in 2015

Dec. 30, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to the national debt jumping $677 billion to $18.8 trillion 2015:

“In the 2015, the national debt increased by $677 billion, and over the past 3 years, an average of $795 billion a year totaling $2.4 trillion. In the meantime, there was only $1.8 trillion in reported deficits. The $600 billion difference appears to be off-budget liabilities such as government loan programs and the expansion of debt owed to Social Security and Medicare trust funds, which requires real money to be borrowed. This understatement on an annual basis of our unfunded liabilities masks the enormity of our debt problem with accounting gimmickry.

“It is particularly alarming that Congress and the President chose to believe the illusion of lowering deficits by moving forward with a budget cap busting omnibus spending bill that will only exacerbate the problem.

“With the upcoming presidential election bringing a sharp focus on the $18.8 trillion debt, Congress should make this a one-time mistake and restore fiscal discipline next year, rather than forcing a future president to take draconian measures to rein in their irresponsibility.”

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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Why are Senate Republicans giving any more judges to President Obama in his lame duck year?

Dec. 29, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the U.S. Senate not to approve any more federal judges nominated by President Barack Obama in his lame duck final year in office:

“Senate Republicans are scheduled on Jan. 11 to consider the nomination of Luis Felipe Restrepo for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, but why? Obama has already had more than 300 federal judges confirmed to the federal bench, about as many as his predecessor, George W. Bush. Why are Senate Republicans giving any more judges to President Obama in his lame duck year when their goal should be to bottle up the remainder of the Obama agenda?

“Now with the funding bill passed into law and the power of the purse ceded, the confirmation process is perhaps the last remaining constitutional power that the Republicans in the Senate hold over this Administration, and they should use it. If President Obama wants a nominee confirmed, he should be forced to start following the law in other areas. Instead, the Obama Administration continues to demand a one-way street, where the Senate majority ignores its election mandate and fills the judiciary with judges who share Obama’s radical anti-constitutional vision without any accommodation from Obama whatsoever.

“The decision to confirm Luis Felipe Restrepo is not about his nomination, but instead is about Obama’s abuse of executive powers and his Administration’s wholesale stonewalling of legitimate Congressional requests. It is puzzling why the Senate Judiciary Committee continues to confirm Obama’s judicial appointments in light of the President’s continued abuse of power.

“To get the new year off to the right start, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should pull the Restrepo nomination from the Senate calendar using his leverage and the rightful power of the Senate to bring Obama to heel during the last year of his term in office. While Obama would likely throw a child-like temper tantrum over not getting his way, but this time, he cannot threaten to shut down the government if the Majority Leader doesn’t give him what he wants.

“This reset of the relationship needs to be made now, or else many Americans may come to the conclusion that there really is no reason to care whether Republicans continue to control the Senate in 2017.”

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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Republican Congress commits additional $56.7 billion credit line to International Monetary Fund in omnibus

Dec. 23, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting the $56.7 billion increase in the U.S. quota subscription to the International Monetary Fund that was included in the omnibus spending bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2016:

“Now we learn that the omnibus gave an additional $56.7 billion to the International Monetary Fund, doubling our so-called quota subscription to $115.2 billion at today’s exchange rate. It also puts a 2022 sunset on the now $95.8 billion New Arrangements to Borrow and a few extra conditions for accessing it — not that they need it now with the doubled quota. Meaning, the grand total commitment to the International Monetary Fund now rises to $211 billion for the foreseeable future.

“It is particularly troubling that ending the New Arrangements to Borrow was once a priority for House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, and now with her in leadership, our nation is trapped into a funding commitment that swamps that promise. This is just one more gigantic proof point that the GOP establishment cannot be trusted with the public treasury.”

Attachments:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/2029/text/eah

TITLE IX—Other Matters

MULTILATERAL ASSISTANCE

International Monetary Programs

For an increase in the United States quota in the International Monetary Fund, the dollar equivalent of 40,871,800,000 Special Drawing Rights, to remain available until expended: Provided, That notwithstanding the provisos under the heading “International Assistance Programs—International Monetary Programs—United States Quota, International Monetary Fund” in the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111–32), the costs of the amounts provided under this heading in this Act and in Public Law 111–32 shall be estimated on a present value basis, excluding administrative costs and any incidental effects on governmental receipts or outlays: Provided further, That for purposes of the previous proviso, the discount rate for purposes of the present value calculation shall be the appropriate interest rate on marketable Treasury securities, adjusted for market risk: Provided further, That such amount is designated by the Congress as an emergency requirement pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended: Provided further, That such amount shall be available only if the President designates such amount, and the related amount to be rescinded under the heading “Loans to the International Monetary Fund Direct Loan Program Account”, as an emergency requirement pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) and transmits such designation to the Congress.

Loans To The International Monetary Fund direct loan program account (including rescission of funds)

Of the amounts provided under the heading “International Assistance Programs—International Monetary Programs—Loans to International Monetary Fund” in the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009 (Public Law 111–32), the dollar equivalent of 40,871,800,000 Special Drawing Rights is hereby permanently rescinded as of the date when the rollback of the United States credit arrangement in the New Arrangements to Borrow of the International Monetary Fund is effective, but no earlier than when the increase of the United States quota authorized in section 72 of the Bretton Woods Agreements Act (22 U.S.C. 286 et seq.) becomes effective: Provided, That notwithstanding the second through fourth provisos under the heading “International Assistance Programs—International Monetary Programs—Loans to International Monetary Fund” in Public Law 111–32, the costs of the amounts under this heading in this Act and in Public Law 111–32 shall be estimated on a present value basis, excluding administrative costs and any incidental effects on governmental receipts or outlays: Provided further, That for purposes of the previous proviso, the discount rate for purposes of the present value calculation shall be the appropriate interest rate on marketable Treasury securities, adjusted for market risk: Provided further, That such amount is designated by the Congress as an emergency requirement pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended: Provided further, That such amount shall be rescinded only if the President designates such amount as an emergency requirement pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(A)(i) and transmits such designation to the Congress.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Limitations On And Expiration Of Authority With Respect To New Arrangements To Borrow

SEC. 9001.

Section 17 of the Bretton Woods Agreements Act (22 U.S.C. 286e–2) is amended—

(1) in subsection (a) by adding at the end the following:

“(5) The authority to make loans under this section shall expire on December 16, 2022.”;

(2) in subsection (b), in paragraphs (1) and (2), by inserting before the end period the following: “, only to the extent that amounts available for such loans are not rescinded by an Act of Congress”;

(3) by adding the following subsection (e), which shall be effective from the first day of the next period of renewal of the NAB decision after enactment of this Act:

“(e) New Requirement for Activation of the New Arrangements to Borrow

“(1) The Secretary of the Treasury shall include in the certification and report required by paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (b)(1), and (b)(2) of this section prior to activation an additional certification and report that—

“(A) the one-year forward commitment capacity of the IMF (excluding borrowed resources) is expected to fall below 100,000,000,000 Special Drawing Rights during the period of the NAB activation; and

“(B) activation of the NAB is in the United States strategic economic interest with the reasons and analysis for that determination.

“(2) Prior to submitting any certification and report required by paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2), (b)(1), and (b)(2) of this section, the Secretary of the Treasury shall consult with the appropriate congressional committees.”; and

(4) by adding at the end the following:

“(f) In this section, the term ‘appropriate congressional committees’ means the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committees on Appropriations and Financial Services of the House of Representatives.”.

Acceptance Of Amendments To Articles Of Agreement; Quota Increase

SEC. 9002.

The Bretton Woods Agreements Act (22 U.S.C. 286 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 71. Acceptance of amendments to the articles of agreement of the fund.

“ The United States Governor of the Fund may accept the amendments to the Articles of Agreement of the Fund as proposed in resolution 66–2 of the Board of Governors of the Fund.

“SEC. 72. Quota increase.

“(a) In general.—The United States Governor of the Fund may consent to an increase in the quota of the United States in the Fund equivalent to 40,871,800,000 Special Drawing Rights.

“(b) Subject to appropriations.—The authority provided by subsection (a) shall be effective only to such extent or in such amounts as are provided in advance in appropriations Acts.”.

Report On Methodology Used For Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimates

SEC. 9003.

(a) Report.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Director of the Congressional Budget Office shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees on the methodology used and rationale for incorporating market risk in cost estimates for the International Monetary Fund: Provided, That for the purposes of this subsection, the term “appropriate congressional committees” means—

(1) the Committees on Appropriations, Budget, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, and Foreign Relations of the Senate; and

(2) the Committees on Appropriations, Budget, and Financial Services of the House of Representatives.

(b) Requirements.—The report submitted pursuant to subsection (a) shall include matters relevant to the evaluation of the budgetary effects of the participation of the United States in the International Monetary Fund, including the risks associated with—

(1) the current participation of the United States in the International Monetary Fund, including the market risk of the Fund;

(2) countries borrowing from the Fund;

(3) the various loan instruments and assistance activities of the Fund; and

(4) past participation of the United States in the International Monetary Fund, including the historical net cost to the government of previous quota increases.

(c) Review.—Following the submission of the report required by subsection (a), the Committees on Appropriations and Budget of the Senate and the Committees on Appropriations and Budget of the House of Representatives shall review the Congressional Budget Office’s market risk scoring methodology and consider options for modifying the budgetary treatment of new appropriations to the International Monetary Fund: Provided, That in conducting such review, such committees should consult with other interested parties, including the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office.

Required Consultations With Congress In Advance Of Consideration Of Exceptional Access Lending

SEC. 9004.

(a) In general.—The United States Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (the Fund) (or any designee of the Executive Director) may not vote for the approval of an exceptional access loan to be provided by the Fund to a country unless, not later than 7 days before voting to approve that loan (subject to subsection (c)), the Secretary of the Treasury submits to the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committees on Appropriations and Financial Services of the House of Representatives—

(1) a report on the exceptional access program under which the loan is to be provided, including a description of the size and tenor of the program; and

(2) a debt sustainability analysis and related documentation justifying the need for the loan.

(b) Elements.—A debt sustainability analysis under subsection (a)(2) with respect to an exceptional access loan shall include the following:

(1) any assumptions for growth of the gross domestic product of the country that may receive the loan;

(2) an estimate of whether the public debt of that country is sustainable in the medium term, consistent with the exceptional access lending rules of the Fund;

(3) an estimate of the prospects of that country for regaining access to private capital markets; and

(4) an evaluation of the probability of the success of providing the exceptional access loan.

(c) Extraordinary circumstances.—The Secretary may submit the report and analysis required by subsection (a) to the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committees on Appropriations and Financial Services of the House of Representatives not later than 2 business days after a decision by the Executive Board of the Fund to approve an exceptional access loan only if the Secretary—

(1) determines and certifies that—

(A) an emergency exists in the country that applied for the loan and that country requires immediate assistance to avoid disrupting orderly financial markets; or

(B) other extraordinary circumstances exist that warrant delaying the submission of the report and analysis; and

(2) submits with the report and analysis a detailed explanation of the emergency or extraordinary circumstances and the reasons for the delay.

(d) Form of report and analysis.—The report and debt sustainability analysis and related documentation required by subsection (a) may be submitted in classified form.

Repeal Of Systemic Risk Exemption To Limitations To Access Policy Of The International Monetary Fund

SEC. 9005.

(a) Position of the united states.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall direct the United States Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (the Fund) to use the voice and vote of the United States to urge the Executive Board of the Fund to repeal the systemic risk exemption to the debt sustainability criterion of the Fund’s exceptional access framework, as set forth in paragraph 3(b) of Decision No. 14064-(08/18) of the Fund (relating to access policy and limits in the credit tranches and under the extended Fund facility and overall access to the Fund’s general resources, and exceptional access policy).

(b) Report required.—The quota increase authorized by the amendments made by section 9002 shall not be disbursed until the Secretary of the Treasury reports to the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committees on Appropriations and Financial Services of the House of Representatives that the United States has taken all necessary steps to secure repeal of the systemic risk exemption to the framework described in subsection (a).

Annual Report On Lending, Surveillance, Or Technical Assistance Policies Of The International Monetary Fund

SEC. 9006.

Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter until 2025, the Secretary of the Treasury shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committees on Appropriations and Financial Services of the House of Representatives a written report that includes—

(1) a description of any changes in the policies of the International Monetary Fund (the Fund) with respect to lending, surveillance, or technical assistance;

(2) an analysis of whether those changes, if any, increase or decrease the risk to United States financial commitments to the Fund;

(3) an analysis of any new or ongoing exceptional access loans of the Fund in place during the year preceding the submission of the report; and

(4) a description of any changes to the exceptional access policies of the Fund.

 

Report On Improving United States Participation In The International Monetary Fund

SEC. 9007.

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall submit to the Committees on Appropriations and Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committees on Appropriations and Financial Services of the House of Representatives a written report on ways to improve the effectiveness, and mitigate the risks, of United States participation in the International Monetary Fund (the Fund) that includes the following:

(1) An analysis of recent changes to the surveillance products and policies of the Fund and whether those products and policies effectively address the shortcomings of surveillance by the Fund in the periods preceding the global financial crisis that began in 2008 and the European debt crisis that began in 2009.

(2) A discussion of ways to better encourage countries to implement policy recommendations of the Fund, including—

(A) whether the implementation rate of such policy recommendations would increase if the Fund provided regular status reports on whether countries have implemented its policy recommendations; and

(B) whether or not lending by the Fund should be limited to countries that have taken necessary steps to implement such policy recommendations, including an analysis of the potential effectiveness of that limitation.

(3) An analysis of the transparency policy of the Fund, ways that transparency policy can be improved, and whether such improvements would be beneficial.

(4) A detailed analysis of the riskiness of exceptional access loans provided by the Fund, including—

(A) whether the additional interest rate surcharge is working as intended to discourage large and prolonged use of resources of the Fund; and

(B) whether it would be beneficial for the Fund to require collateral when making exceptional access loans, and how requiring collateral would affect the make-up of exceptional access loans and the demand for such loans.

(5) A description of how the classification of loans provided by the Fund would change if Fund quotas were increased under the amendments to the Articles of Agreement of the Fund proposed in resolution 66–2 of the Board of Governors of the Fund, including an assessment of how the quota increase would affect the classification of exceptional access loans outstanding as of the date of the report and whether the quota increase would lead to revisions of the classification of such loans.

(6) A discussion and analysis of lessons learned from the lending arrangements that included the Fund, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank (commonly referred to as the “Troika”) during the European debt crisis.

(7) An analysis of the risks or benefits of increasing the transparency of the technical assistance projects of the Fund, including a discussion of—

(A) the advantages and disadvantages of the current technical assistance disclosure policies of the Fund;

(B) how technical assistance from the Fund could be better used to prevent crises from happening in the future; and

(C) whether and how the Fund coordinates technical assistance projects with other organizations, including the United States Department of the Treasury, to avoid duplication of efforts.

This division may be cited as the “Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2016”.

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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Congress passes $1.1 trillion omnibus, ALG reacts

Dec. 18, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans of Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting overwhelming passage of the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill by the House and Senate:

“House Speaker Paul Ryan has reacted to passage of the omnibus spending bill by saying it ‘advances Republican priorities.’ Which ones?

“We agree with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley who has said it will help terrorist travel and economic espionage in the U.S. It leaves our borders wide open, and fails to stop Obama’s executive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants with U.S.-born children. It increases spending $112 billion over the next two years, busting the spending caps. It does nothing to defund Planned Parenthood. It reinstates the Wind Production Tax Credit. It funds Obamacare. It quardruples H2-B visas for low-skilled workers at the expense of American workers. It fails use the power of the purse to rein in a single one of Obama’s economy crippling regulations. It funds the Department of Housing and Urban Development racial and income zoning quotas being imposed on 1,200 counties and cities that accept any portion of $3 billion of annual community development block grants.

“The omnibus does not advance Republican priorities, or even the American people’s priorities, it advances the priorities of the power elite in Washington, D.C. that continues to operate within a vacuum.”

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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Omnibus quadruples H2-B visas

Dec. 17, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement calling attention to a provision in the omnibus spending bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2016 that will quadruple the number of H2-B visas for low-skilled workers:

“At a time of heightened security concerns over terrorism and immigration in the wake of Paris and San Bernardino, Congress is considering an omnibus spending bill that includes as a provision quadrupling the number of H2-B visas for low-skilled workers. This is as irresponsible on the security front as it is politically deaf, dumb, and blind. House Republicans cannot possibly vote to keep the gates wide open, in the process making America less secure, while also throwing Americans workers under the bus. Now is the time for House members to stand up for sanity, and reject the special interests who are selling America’s future down the river.”

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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