Health care bill passes out of two House committees with virtually no amendments

March 10, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement after the health care bill has passed out of two House committees with only a single amendment of a technical nature passing:

“The so-called Obamacare repeal and replace has now gone through two House committees and the only amendment that has passed was an amendment of a technical nature offered in the House Energy and Committee by the chairman. This creates the appearance that this is already the final version of the bill and that changes will not be tolerated by leadership. To avoid a floor battle, Republican leaders must work with conservative members to include changes in this bill before it gets to the floor. If there are no changes made to it, it will be impossible to argue that this was not jammed down the American people’s throats.”

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.

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Federal agency illegally outsourced part of tax investigation into Caterpillar to Dartmouth College

March 8, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting an unnamed federal agency outlined in a March 7 New York Times report for illegally outsourcing parts of a tax investigation into Caterpillar to Dr. Leslie Robinson, accounting professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College:

“It is illegal for the federal government to outsource tax investigations to non-government personnel due to the highly confidential nature of tax records. This leaked report meant to embarrass a company that President Trump recently praised was illegally leaked for political purposes, but what it reveals was that a federal agency, unnamed at the moment, apparently shared tax information with a Dartmouth College professor to go after Caterpillar. This continuation of the left’s use of the government as a political weapon almost two months in to the Trump presidency is beyond troubling.

“Notwithstanding the law, in 2015, the IRS issued a regulation that dramatically expanded the persons who could review tax information in the course of a tax investigation. This episode of a contractor’s report being leaked emphasizes why not only this was a bad idea, but why it still violated the law. This regulation should be defunded by Congress and enforcement suspended.

“If there was an effective ‘Taxpayer Advocate’ these abuses might be identified and stamped out, but unfortunately, the culture of corruption at the IRS and other agencies, with their surrogate outside consultants remains intact. It is time for the Trump Administration to enforce the law against the use of outside contractors to conduct tax investigations. What’s more, Congress needs to seriously question what the so-called Taxpayer Advocate has been doing besides lobbying for increased IRS appropriations?”

Attachments:

“I was provided with all documents available to the case agents assigned to the investigation.” Dr. Leslie Robinson, accounting professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, quoted from report from tax investigation into Caterpillar, March 7, 2017 at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/business/caterpillar-tax-fraud.html

Letter from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, May 13, 2015 at https://www.finance.senate.gov/chairmans-news/hatch-questions-irss-outsourcing-of-taxpayer-examination

The IRC authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to make inquiries regarding tax liability, and permits the Secretary to delegate this authority to “officers or employees of the Treasury Department….”[1] 26 U.S.C. §§ 6201 [ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/6201 ]

This authority includes both the examination of “books, papers, records, or other data[,]” and the taking of testimony under oath.[2] 26 U.S.C. § 7602(a). [ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/7602 ]

While the Secretary has broad powers to delegate authorities, any delegation is limited to an “officer, employee, or agency of the Treasury Department” unless Congress expressly grants broader authority.[3] 26 U.S.C. § 7701(a)(11)(B), (12)(A). [ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/7701 ]

In addition to limitations on who can carry out these functions, Congress also created safeguards around the use of confidential taxpayer information by prohibiting officers and employees of the United States from disclosing taxpayer information except in limited circumstances.[4] 26 U.S.C. § 6103. [ https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/6103 ] By enacting these provisions, Congress made clear that certain revenue functions may be carried out only by specified officers of the Treasury Department and that taxpayer data can only be disclosed in limited circumstances.

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.

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New ALG web ad reminds Republicans to keep promise and repeal Obamacare — all of it

March 8, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning issued the following statement to Breitbart.com yesterday, bringing attention to a new web ad by Americans for Limited Government that urges Congressional Republicans to keep their campaign promises and repeal all of Obamacare:

“It is catastrophic and disappointing that House GOP Leadership along with Chairmen Brady and Walden are pretending that their proposal is an Obamacare repeal, when it fails to even reach the minimum repeal standard passed by Congress in 2015 and vetoed by then President Obama.

“Congressional Republicans have been entrusted with leadership largely due to their oft-repeated promise to repeal Obamacare, the Ryancare bill accepts the underlying principles of the failed health care law, and attempts to fix it. The Ryan bill is indefensible both from a policy and political perspective.

“Americans for Limited Government produced this video to remind Republicans of their promise to repeal all of Obamacare. It is crazy for the GOP to try to go back to the American people and tell them that the rules of Congress prohibited them from re-establishing state based health care solutions, and instead they should be happy with a mutant national health care plan. For the first time in six years, Nancy Pelosi sees a pathway to holding the Speaker’s gavel again, ironically through the GOP’s planned failure to keep their Obamacare repeal promise that defeated her in 2010.

“President Donald Trump needs to take a step back from the Ryancare abyss and listen to those of us who supported him. This legislation must be retooled to rip all of Obamacare out by the roots, followed by a replacement bill that respects the American people and the Constitution by returning authority over health care to the states.”

Attachments:

Exclusive — New Web Ad Targets Paul Ryan’s Obamacare 2.0, Questions If Republicans Will Keep Promise to Repeal, By Matthew Boyle, March 8, 2017 at http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/03/08/exclusive-new-web-ad-targets-paul-ryans-obamacare-2-0-questions-republicans-will-keep-promise-repeal/

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.

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Obama, former presidents should be cut out of loop of classified information

March 3, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following call for President Donald Trump to cut former presidents’ access to classified information, including former President Barack Obama’s:

“Given the New York Times report of Obama’s apparent operation to expand access to classified intelligence including innocuous contacts with Trump campaign officials and Russians, we can no longer trust that former President Barack Obama will treat classified intelligence information as anything but political fodder. Until the leak investigation is completed, all former presidents should be cut out of the loop of classified information under federal rules and by revising Executive Order 13526. They have no need to know.”

To view online: http://getliberty.org/2017/03/obama-former-presidents-should-be-cut-out-of-loop-of-classified-information/

Attachments:

32 CFR 1909.5 Requirements as to who may apply at https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/32/1909.5

(c) Former Presidents and Vice Presidents. Any former President or Vice President may submit a request for access to classified CIA information. Requests from former Presidents or Vice Presidents shall be in writing to the Coordinator and shall identify the records containing the classified information of interest. A former President or Vice President may also request approval for a research associate, but there is no entitlement to such enlargement of access and the decision in this regard shall be in the sole discretion of the Senior Agency Official.

32 CFR 1909.12 – Termination of access at https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/32/1909.12

The Coordinator shall cancel any authorization and deny any further access whenever the Director of Security cancels the security clearance of any person who has been granted access to classified CIA information under the part; or whenever the Senior Agency Official, or the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, determines that continued access would no longer be consistent with the requirements of this part; or at the conclusion of the authorized period of up to two years if there is no renewal under § 1909.11.

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.

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ALG supports Agency Accountability Act by U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer

March 2, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in support of H.R. 850 by U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.), the Agency Accountability Act, legislation that would require that fees, fines and other revenues independently collected by agencies be deposited in the Treasury general fund:

“Representative Palmer’s Agency Accountability Act ends the practice of Agency’s compiling slush funds that allow them to operate independently from Congress’ funding oversight.  This legislation is a great step forward in restoring Congress’ Article One Constitutional authority and Americans for Limited Government urges its passage. From 2010 to 2015, $83 billion of fines, fees and other revenue were collected by agencies, money that Congress alone should have authority in appropriating.”

Attachments:

Restoring the Power of the Purse: Shining Light on Federal Agencies Billion Dollar Fines Collections, Nov. 30, 2016, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a Majority staff report at https://oversight.house.gov/report/oversight-report-reveals-83-billion-collected-agency-fines-penalties/

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.

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Congress needs to get to work on repealing Obamacare

Feb. 28, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Congress to at least repeal as much of Obamacare as was repealed last year when it was vetoed by former President Barack Obama:

“There is no excuse for not repealing Obamacare by as much as it was last year. Any attempt to merely spray the health care law with perfume and declare it a victory betrays every promise the GOP Congress and President Trump made during their successful 2016 campaign. Obamacare does not need to be reformed, it needs to be repealed.”

Attachments:

“Time for Congress to do its job and repeal Obamacare,” By Peter Hong, Feb. 28, 2017 at http://netrightdaily.com/2017/02/time-congress-job-repeal-obamacare/

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.

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McCain should identify $37 billion of cuts to pay for proposed boost in defense spending

Fiscal responsibility vital to national security.

Feb. 28, 2017, Fairfax, Va.–Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today in a statement responded to Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) complaint that President Trump’s proposed defense spending is not large enough, “With a world on fire, America cannot secure peace through strength with just 3 percent more than President Obama’s budget. We can and must do better”:

“President Donald Trump, in proposing a $54 billion increase in defense spending over the coming years, has done the fiscally responsible thing and found $50 billion of offsetting non-defense budget cuts to help pay for it. If McCain wants an additional hike of defense spending by another $37 billion this year, why doesn’t he identify $37 billion of cuts to make this year elsewhere in the budget? Perhaps look at the Pentagon itself. McCain has never seen a war that he didn’t want to put American soldiers into the midst of. The Department of Defense needs to conduct a complete audit and wring out the social engineering spending that Obama embedded in their budget including the inefficient and costly biofuel program. This refocusing will mean more planes, tanks and ships to protect American interests for the same dollar spent.

“While increasing defense spending is important for national security, it is equally important the Pentagon get more bang for its buck too. The fact is, the number one constraint on future defense spending will be the ballooning $20 trillion national debt. This year alone, it is projected by OMB that gross interest on the debt will be $511 billion, just $100 billion shy of the entire defense budget. It is this future expense budget that will consume all others, and make it impossible for the U.S. to meet its security commitments globally.

“We urge Sen. McCain to follow President Trump’s prudent example in proposing spending cuts to pay for his proposed increase in defense spending. As Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Sen. McCain is uniquely positioned to identify inefficient defense programs and unneeded armaments to meet the needs of a sound peace through strength doctrine.”

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.

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ALG praise Justice Dept. for dropping opposition to Texas voter ID law

Feb. 27, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising the U.S. Justice Department for dropping opposition to the Texas voter ID law, currently under litigation:

“Americans for Limited Government is thrilled that the Justice Department will no longer be actively engaged in legal actions designed to make it more difficult for states to ensure that only lawful voters are participating in our national elections.  Voter fraud is the greatest threat to representative democracy, as those who vote illegally dilute the impact of legitimate voters. The state of Texas’ voter identification law merely puts commonsense requirements for voters to present identification in order to vote.

“In this day and age of motor voter and balloting by mail, it becomes more and more difficult to ensure that the one person, one vote principle is enforced. Attorney General Sessions’ decision to drop the ill-conceived Obama Administration intervention in the Texas case, demonstrates that the rule of law is being restored in D.C., and most importantly the basic premise that every citizen should have an equal say in who represents them.  Those who vote multiple times or who are ineligible to vote but do so anyway, undermine the legitimacy of our nation’s elections. Attorney General Sessions’ actions today will provide all Americans more certitude that the U.S. government stands squarely on the side of free and fair elections.”

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.

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Rogue bureaucrats should inspire Trump civil service reform, 10 to 20 percent reduction of federal workforce

Feb. 24, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the Trump administration to pursue immediate civil service reform:

“By now it should be abundantly clear to the Trump administration that there are Obama administration holdovers in the 1.3 million non-defense, civilian federal workforce who have no other intention than to politically damage the White House. These rogue bureaucrats are not serving the American people, they are serving a political agenda, and frankly, they need not be tolerated. The whole reason the District of Columbia was created without voting rights or representation was so that those who work for the federal government would not wield political power. They are supposed to be neutral. Working for the government is a privilege, not a right, and it’s time that President Trump remind them by removing Obama administration hires, particularly if there is no other way to root out subversive employees.

“Part of the problem is former President Obama changed civil service rules to make it easier to hire federal employees. Trump has solved that by initiating his hiring freeze. But federal rules also make it extremely difficult to fire civil servants. It is a process that can take up to two years, even when there is cause. That said, problem employees who, say, don’t show up for work should be dealt with through this process immediately.

“But to do more requires Congress to step in, which can assist this process three-fold: 1) By incentivizing early retirement via the appropriations process with limited-time-only buy-outs; 2) cutting the personnel budgets of non-defense civilian departments and agencies, reducing the enacted full-time equivalent number for each department, agency and office by 10 to 20 percent in the workforce on a last-one-in, first-one-out basis; and 3) defunding existing preferences under federal rules being given to those laid off being later rehired on a first-in-line basis. That would eliminate politicized Obama administration holdovers, and prevent them from being rehired should it become necessary to fill in some gaps. Other ideas include eliminating automatic dues deduction for federal employees unions and getting rid of any full-time official time union personnel.

“Taken together, a comprehensive civil service reform can only possibly be accomplished in the context of the upcoming continuing resolution and budget process, by simply not appropriating monies for the same number of full-time equivalent employees as last year, and defunding preferences for rehiring previously laid off personnel. Not only can’t Trump do it alone, Congress should step up to the plate exercising their Article I powers and rein in this rogue administrative state.”

Attachments:

‘You’re fired’: How Trump can reduce the federal workforce and drain the swamp, By Robert Romano, Dec. 27, 2016 at http://netrightdaily.com/2016/12/youre-fired-trump-can-reduce-federal-workforce-drain-swamp/

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.

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ALG praises confirmation of OMB Director Mick Mulvaney

Feb. 16, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Senate confirmation of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney:

“The confirmation of Mick Mulvaney to head the Office of Management and Budget puts a critical piece of the Trump Administration in place.  The OMB is vital not only on budget related discussions like those involving Obamacare, but it also plays the pivotal role in pushing a President’s regulatory agenda.  Mulvaney will be at the center of rolling back President Obama’s crippling regulatory regime.  The unnecessary, politically driven delay in his confirmation was designed to impede this important process to end the billions of dollars of government imposed costs on building things here in 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.

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