Senators Mike Lee and Richard Shelby are models of courage in the Senate on AFFH defund

May 19, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) after an amendment proposed to the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appropriations bill to prohibit implementation of the HUD regulation “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) that conditions $3 billion of yearly community development block grants on 1,200 recipient cities and counties rezoning neighborhoods along income and racial guidelines was tabled by a vote of 60 to 37:

“Americans wonder what is going wrong with the system in Washington, D.C. where Senators seem more interested in playing paddy cake with President Obama and his radical agenda rather than standing up and fighting it. Senator Mike Lee breaks this stereotype and his offering of language to defund President Obama’s HUD regulation that allows federal bureaucrats to coerce local governments to conform to Obama’s racial and income gerrymandering zoning requirements.

“Unfortunately, too many of his Republican colleagues were more afraid of the race hustlers who seek to put low income high rise apartments into middle class neighborhoods, and the Lee amendment failed. Here is the truth. Local zoning only determines what can be built where, not who can live there. The Fair Housing Act ensures that race plays zero role in who can buy a home or rent an apartment, but for census map driven bureaucrats to declare single family homes on quarter acre lots racist as they have tried to do in Westchester County, N.Y. is absurd.

“Senator Lee and Senator Shelby’s willingness to stand up for local control over our nation’s zoning laws demonstrates once again that they are some of the few who match what they say back home with what they do in Washington, D.C.

“The good news is that the House has passed the exact same language as offered by Lee the past two years with support ranging across the Conference’s ideological divide, so there is still a chance for stopping Obama’s HUD madness. In the meantime, every citizen should find out if their city or county are one of the 1,200 local governments which take community development block grants.

“One possible pinpoint of light is the Senate including language that restates current law prohibiting the federal government from directly setting zoning policy for municipalities, this time via AFFH. While little more than a political fig leaf amendment, it is Americans for Limited Government’s hope that this limiting language will provide municipalities and counties a small, legal foothold to resist HUD coercion to condition the community development block grants on submission of HUD-approved local zoning plans. The fact that so many Democrats voted for this amendment proves that the politics of a centrally planned zoning policy by HUD are abysmal. They better hope that the Senate-passed language actually bars HUD from using the community development block grants to set local zoning policy, otherwise the 2018 Senate midterms could prove brutal for those who offered false hope that this vast overreach was being reined in.

“Now it is up to the House of Representatives to stand firm and support the Gosar-Lee language to further strengthen the prohibitions on Obama’s HUD racial and income zoning quotas as they have done twice before.”

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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Rick Manning on HUD local zoning takeover w/ Mark Steyn: ‘If you just give in because you’re afraid Obama might veto an appropriations bill, then you might as well just go home and pack up the bags and let him write the appropriations bill’

May 17, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today appeared on the Rush Limbaugh Show with guest host Mark Steyn to discuss the imminent Senate vote on an amendment by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), S.3897, to the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appropriations bill that will prohibit implementation of the HUD regulation “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) that conditions $3 billion of yearly community development block grants on 1,200 recipient cities and counties rezoning neighborhoods along income and racial guidelines.

Manning challenged the Senate to assert its Article I power of the purse: “If you just give in because you’re afraid [Obama] might veto an appropriations bill, then you might as well just go home and pack up the bags and let him write the appropriations bill because you’ve usurped your basic Article I authority. And by taking away your Article I rights to fund the things in government you want to fund and not fund those things you don’t want to fund, because you’re afraid of President Obama, that’s no way to represent the American people and the voters should have their say.”

Listen to the audio at https://netrightdaily.com/2016/05/video-rick-manning-hud-local-zoning-takeover-w-mark-steyn/

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 should defund HUD racial and income housing quotas in vote this week

May 16, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today urged the Senate to support an amendment by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), S.3897, to the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appropriations bill that will prohibit implementation of the HUD regulation “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) that conditions $3 billion of yearly community development block grants on 1,200 recipient cities and counties rezoning neighborhoods along income and racial guidelines:

“There is zero excuse for allowing the federal government to dictate local zoning policy via community development block grants to impose racial and income zoning quotas on cities and counties. Zoning ordinances only determine what can be built where, not who lives there. People can move wherever they want, and rent or buy. Real housing discrimination, that is, denying housing on the basis of race, has been illegal for decades. It is not at all what is at issue in the upcoming vote in the Senate.

“The Lee amendment simply says that community development block grants, which have been around for more than 40 years, can be spent by local communities as they see fit to put affordable housing where they think it makes sense. That’s the way these block grants have always been allocated, but suddenly, the Obama Administration found some new power for HUD to condition the community development block grants based on fulfilling the department’s utopian vision of racial and income equality.

“Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing is not about expanding the poor’s access to housing, it’s about expanding the federal government’s reach into local municipalities. Republican or Democrat, defunding this overreach should be an easy vote for every senator.”

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 thanks Senators Lee, Shelby, Cotton and Vitter for T-HUD amendment against racial and income housing quotas

May 12, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today praised Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Vitter (R-La.) for pushing to get an amendment on to the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) appropriations bill that will prohibit implementation of the HUD regulation “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) that conditions $3 billion of yearly community development block grants on 1,200 recipient cities and counties rezoning neighborhoods along income and racial guidelines:

“For the first time, the U.S. Senate will have an opportunity to defund AFFH, an amendment which has passed the House of Representatives for the past two years — led by Representative Paul Gosar — and has united the Republican conference, with supporters ranging from Representatives Pete King to Thomas Massie unifying the Conference.  The federal government has absolutely zero role in local zoning policy, which only determines what can be built where, not who lives there. Yet that is exactly what AFFH presumes to tell local communities, that low-income, high density housing must be built in middle class suburban neighborhoods, because apparently having nice neighborhoods to live in is racist.

HUD Secretary Julian Castro lied to Congress last year when he told a House committee that ‘This is not about changing zoning laws, planning laws — anything like that’ when, according to the Federal Register, AFFH directs municipalities ‘to examine relevant factors, such as zoning and other land-use practices that are likely contributors to fair housing concerns, and take appropriate actions in response’ as a condition for receipt of the block grants. This is absolutely about zoning, and the fact that the HUD Secretary tried to cover it up should give every Senator pause. This program should be defunded, and let communities decide for themselves where they want to build affordable housing units without federal interference.

“The Obama administration unconstitutionally thinks the federal government can redraw every neighborhood in the country. It is up the Senate to draw a line in the sand and force President Obama to defend this program. This is a fight Senate Republicans must win.”

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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Passing TPP and rewarding slave labor is morally reprehensible

May 11, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to a study by the National Retail Federation finding the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact will benefit U.S. retailers:

“I’m sure using southern slave labor to produce cotton was a boon for northern clothing makers and their customers as it lowered costs. In the 19th century, New England textile mills were big buyers of southern cotton. Similarly, the Trans-Pacific Partnership includes Malaysia, which had to be falsely recategorized by the State Department as not a slave state in order to qualify to be a participant in the trade deal, and Vietnam and Brunei, which have horrendous records on human labor trafficking.

“So while it’s great that American retailers think that cheap goods built with slave wages are good for their business model, it is morally reprehensible. History will not look kindly upon those who turned a blind eye to these atrocities.

“It is little wonder why American workers who can’t find jobs think the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a bad deal for them.  The American people are fed up with the global trade agenda, and continue to reject candidates for president who defend the indefensible. This was reconfirmed in the Fox News West Virginia exit poll that found a full 67 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats agree that trade overseas is costing Americans their jobs here.”

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 passage of Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s H.R. 5063 against 3rd party legal settlements

May 11, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) for his legislation, H.R. 5063, the “Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2016”:

“House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte’s unrelenting work to stop the Obama Administration from using mortgage company settlements stemming from the housing crisis to fund left wing advocacy groups to the tune of millions of dollars is an example for the rest of the GOP Conference in fighting Obama’s incessant overreaches.

“The slush fund issue came to light during Bank of America’s enormous $17 billion settlement when it was revealed that as much as $490 million was slated to go to radical groups like The National Council of La Raza for community outreach.  It makes these lawsuits look like little more than extortion to shake down corporations to make donations to Obama-favored political causes.

“Last year, it was Chairman Goodlatte who led the effort to encourage Speaker Paul Ryan to include language in the Omnibus Spending bill prohibiting the establishment of far left slush funds as a condition of settling mortgage cases.  Unfortunately, the Obama, Ryan, McConnell spending bill failed to rein in this abuse of power by the Administration.

“Undeterred, Chairman Goodlatte has again taken the lead this year to try to prevent the Justice Department from using the legal settlements as a cudgel to compel mortgage companies to fund third party groups, instead preferring that those monies be directed to the aggrieved homeowners.  All of Congress should join him in supporting passage of HR 5063.”

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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Show American people revised version of mass prison break bill

May 10, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today in the following statement urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to publicly release the revised version of the “Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015,” responding to a recent characterization by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) of the revision that “We ensured that violent criminals, and those who have been hardened by a life of crime, will stay in prison while addressing the ballooning prison population”:

“The Senate Judiciary Committee had this big press conference on April 28 announcing revisions to legislation that will result in thousands of federal prison inmates being released early, but so far, it has been hidden from the public. News outlets are reporting on the revisions, senators are talking about the revisions, but the revisions are nowhere to be found on the Internet making verifying claims made by proponents of the bill impossible. It’s time for the Senate proponents of what has been called the ‘jail break bill’ to show their work rather than relying upon a lazy media to just mouth their words without validating their truthfulness.

“Based on what we know right now, violent criminals will only be barred from leaving prison early if it was a so-called ‘serious violent felony’ under federal law, meaning sentences that carried a maximum of 10 years or more. Everybody who committed assault that carried a maximum of less than 10 years, including under state laws, would remain eligible for early release. Was that fixed, or not? If not, then Senator Cornyn should stop saying that it was when nobody can verify that’s even true.

“Under the current version of the bill publicly posted on Congress.gov, violent felons are indeed still eligible for early release. The current language would have still let Wendell Callahan, the suspect in the Columbus, Ohio brutal triple murder of a mother and her two young daughters, leave prison early for his drug release under the 2010 Fair Sentencing Act that was retroactively applied by the U.S. Sentencing Commission. Callahan had committed felonious assault in Ohio in 1999, but because it only carried a maximum five-year minimum at the time, it is not considered a ‘serious violent felony’ under federal law, and he still would have been eligible for early release under the new bill.

“Meaning that under the mass prison break bill, violent criminals, and those who have been hardened by a life of crime, will not stay in prison, they will be leaving prison early, and based upon recidivism studies of those previously released early, more than a thousand real people will be assaulted or killed as a direct result of this legislation. Senator John Cornyn needs to come clean and show the public the ‘compromise’ so there can be an honest debate about the consequences of the legislation.

“Ironically, the only thing we know for certain about the new, ‘improved’ legislation’s impact on the criminal justice system is that Democrats like Senator Chuck Schumer refuse to consider including a common sense provision that would protect those who unwittingly failed to follow one of the hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations promulgated by Obama from being jailed.

“Senate proponents need to release the new criminal justice language and allow the media and others to review and ask critical questions about its impact. After all, they had a press conference, the least they can do almost two weeks later is show the public their work.”

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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U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s vote against Omnibus Spending bill was an act of political courage

May 9, 2016, Fairfax, Va.–Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) for voting against the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act last year:

“There’s been a lot of talk about what a conservative is in Washington, D.C. One of the primary hallmarks of a fiscal conservative is that they’re willing to vote against their leadership to maintain some semblance of fiscal sanity. Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s vote against the omnibus spending bill in 2015 demonstrated the exact kind of courage that America needs from their elected representatives. A lot of politicians talk about their desire to balance the budget back home while playing the go-along-to-get-along game in D.C. which only makes things worse. Jim Bridenstine is a shining example of someone who does what he says he’ll do, and isn’t afraid to go against the establishment in Washington, D.C. to fight for conservative ideals.”

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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U.S. Rep. Andy Barr takes away CFPB slush fund from Fed earnings with legislation

May 6, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limitd Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and the House Financial Services Committee for moving legislation last month that will take away the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) funding stream from the earnings of the Federal Reserve System:

“There is absolutely no excuse for the CFPB, an unaccountable government agency, to have unlimited resources from the nation’s central bank. It is little more than a slush fund linked to a printing press. We praise the work of Rep. Andy Barr bringing this unconstitutional funding mechanism to heel. Article I, Section 7 requires all legislation spending money originate in the House of Repesentatives, and Rep. Barr’s bill will finally bring the CFPB out of the shadow funding of the Fed and into the sunlight of the appropriations process where it belongs.

“Rep. Andy Barr’s language is also incorporated into as part of Rep. Ken Buck’s Article I supplemental, which includes more than 50 riders that should be put onto any must-pass legislation the House considers this year.”

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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European Central Bank: U.S. economic data leaks net manipulators $20 million

May 2, 2016, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to a working paper from the European Central Bank purporting to show strong evidence of what can only be termed insider trading by the early release of U.S. economic data by government and non-government sources:

“The highly unusual accusation that markets are being manipulated through the early release of a wide array of sensitive U.S. economic data would be troubling under any circumstance. The accusation coming from the European Central Bank cuts to the heart of the entire world’s trust in core economic reports and portrays a financial system that is rigged to its core. The European Central Bank lowballs the value of these alleged data breaches at $20 million for S&P Futures alone, but the real number would have to be much higher depending on how pervasive this form of manipulation is.

“If the U.S. had a Justice Department interested in upholding the laws, it would be natural to call for an investigation. Given the current state of affairs in the Washington, D.C., the Obama Justice Department is more likely to investigate the European Central Bank researchers than in identifying and prosecuting those who have breached the public trust.”

Attachments:

“Price drift before U.S. macroeconomic news: private information about public announcements?” European Central Bank, May 2016 at http://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1901.en.pdf?ca0947cb7c6358aed9180ca2976160bf

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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