ICANN pressured to police online content

Nov. 19, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response a Mayer Brown law firm synopsis of the October meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in Dublin where topics discussed included “the scope of ICANN’s ability to regulate online content”:

“The U.S. government contract with ICANN to administer the domain name system has not even lapsed yet, and already, ICANN is openly discussing the scope of its ability to regulate online content. ICANN will be the world’s only hub for linking easy-to-remember domain names to IP addresses. The only legal constraint that stops them from censoring content is the First Amendment protections associated with fulfilling a U.S. government contract. Remove the contract, and cede the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority functions, as the Obama administration intends, and those protections are void.

“That is not alarmism, that is cause for alarm. Congress must continue the appropriations rider authored by Rep. Sean Duffy denying funds to the Commerce Department to transition this authority to a private entity such as ICANN. Anything else is leaving it up to chance, and eventually, China, Russia, or who knows overseas to eventually capture this function. This will be an unregulated global monopoly as opposed to a U.S. government vendor, and merely modifying ICANN’s mission statement will not be a legally binding mechanism to uphold the freedom of speech and of the press.

“While outgoing ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade said some of the right things at the meeting, other things that were mentioned such as a ‘voluntary framework to handle contractual obligations regarding content,’ with or without ‘teeth’ are troubling and just add more proof that the transition should not occur. ICANN clearly is under pressure to get into the business of policing content. Congress can just make this really easy for them and just say no to the transition — again.”

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’ refugee response a cynical joke?

Nov. 18, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement blasting a discussion draft House of Representatives proposal to require some additional FBI scrutiny for refugees from the war in Syria and Iraq that was exposed by Conservativereview.com:

“This seems like a cynical joke rather than a serious effort to beef up security. Rather than thoroughly vet and restrict the hundreds of thousands of visas issued out of North Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and have a real discussion about the wisdom of the geographic allocation of our legal immigration system, Congress is papering over these larger issues with a knee-jerk small approach focusing upon 10,000 Syrian refugees expected in the next year. They must be kidding.

“Even if they make it harder to qualify as a refugee, the fact is our borders — thanks to our open-ended visa program — are still wide open. The enemy will just apply for employment, student, or basic travel visas. The 9/11 hijackers were all on legal visas, not pretending to be refugees seeking asylum.

“That is why if Congress is truly serious about this issue they will restrict travel on the basis of region where the enemy is traveling out of until this situation is sorted, the war has ended, and the enemy is eliminated. Having open-ended immigration from countries you are at war with is exceptionally unwise. In the meantime, the enemy, after fighting in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, with blood fresh on their hands, are sneaking into the West and hiding in expat communities. Those who are already here and home-grown terrorists are a separate issue subject to the FBI, counterterrorism officials and local law enforcement. What Congress can do now, to limit this threat, is close off travel from areas the enemy is known to originate and travel from.

“That is the big discussion that we need to have in our nation. Do we want to follow the suicidal immigration policies that find Europe beset by no-go zones inhabited by immigrants who follow Sharia Law and have no intention of assimilating, or do we want to follow our nation’s immigration laws and control who gets the privilege of entering the United States? That is the real choice Congress faces.”

Attachments:

Immigrant Visas Issued (by Foreign State of Chargeability or Place of Birth) Fiscal Year 2014, The U.S. Department of State at http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/Statistics/AnnualReports/FY2014AnnualReport/FY14AnnualReport-TableIII.pdf

H.R. Discussion draft, “To require that refugees admitted to the United States due to the Syrian Civil War shall be subject to review to identify security threats to the United States,” at https://www.conservativereview.com/~/media/files/conservative-review/articles-supporting-documents/hudson_american_safe_act_2015_discussion_draft.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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Sen. Mike Lee amendment would stop Obama racial zoning quotas

Nov. 17, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the U.S. Senate to adopt an amendment expected to be introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) that would deny funds to implement the rule “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

“Sen. Mike Lee deserves the thanks of the American people for again proposing an amendment to defund HUD’s attempts to rezone any municipality that accepts any part of the $3.5 billion a year in community development block grants from the federal government. The Obama administration is engaged in a utopian plan to create evenly distributed neighborhoods based on racial composition and income. It is social engineering at its worst, and a back-door attempt to gerrymander districts.

“It is also unconstitutional. Under principles of federalism, zoning is left up to states, counties and municipalities to determine for themselves. HUD has no place in drawing up neighborhoods based on racial preferences. In addition, the HUD rule will do nothing to stop individual cases of housing discrimination based on race that have been illegal since the 1960s.

“Americans for Limited Government strongly supports the Lee amendment to defund Obama’s racial zoning quotas, and urges it be included in any upcoming omnibus spending legislation for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2016. Companion legislation by Rep. Paul Gosar has already been included in the Transportation and HUD appropriations bill that passed the House of Representatives in 2014 and 2015. It’s time it be included in Senate appropriations as well.”

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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Gosar-Gardner legislation blocks unionization of IRS

Nov. 17, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President today issued the following statement urging both chambers of Congress to take up legislation blocking the unionization of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.):

“Senator Cory Gardner and Representative Paul Gosar deserve the nation’s thanks for their efforts to keep the IRS free from undue public employee union influence.

“At a time when the IRS is engaged in open political warfare against the tea party and other conservative non-profits, Congress has the ability to depoliticize the agency in one small way — by blocking any unionization of this civil service agency. No political organizations, including unions, should have undue influence inside an agency as powerful as the IRS, and the Gosar-Gardner bill addresses that danger head on.

“We urge every member of Congress to cosponsor and help secure passage of this non-controversial, non-partisan stance against politics corrupting the IRS. Nobody liked it when Nixon used the IRS against his political enemies, and this should be no different.”

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 immediate moratorium on all Middle East refugees and immigration to the U.S.

Nov. 16, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging President Barack Obama to issue an immediate moratorium on all Middle East refugees and immigration, in light of the fact that at least one of the Paris bombers was a Syrian war refugee:

“President Obama, and every sane leader in the West, needs to immediately issue a moratorium against all refugees and immigration from the Middle East. Under U.S. law, the President singularly has discretion to allow refugees in, and to refuse entry. Generally, under 8 U.S.C. 1182(f) the President can refuse entry to any class of immigrant for any amount of time he deems appropriate. There are currently 16 such proclamations already in effect. It’s time for number 17.

“The fact is, even if only a tiny percentage of the Syrian war refugees were adherents to radical Islam, every country that lets them in must accept they are also inviting sleeper cells into their country. And since there is no way to scan them at the border, the only solution is to simply say no way. Not until this situation is under control.

“As for immigration, Congress should immediately suspend the chain migration system, not as a part of any overall reform, but just stop it dead in its tracks. Visas are issued to the relatives of U.S. citizens right now without any consideration of the merits of entry. The insanity at the border must be brought to an end immediately, or the American people will seek new leadership who will bring it to an end. Enough pussy-footing around. It’s time to get real.”

Attachments:

8 U.S.C. 1182(f) Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President at https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/1182

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.

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 should block DOJ legal settlement monies from going to third-party groups in omnibus

Nov. 11, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging Congress to include a rider by House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that would block Department of Justice legal settlement monies from going to third-party groups in the upcoming omnibus appropriations legislation:

“House Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte’s effort to stop President Obama from funneling money from official government legal settlements to his third party group supporters is the exact kind of forward thinking that Congressional Republican leaders should include in the upcoming government funding bill. The $17 billion Bank of America settlement is a prime example of the misuse as Bank of America was required to send millions of dollars to third party activist groups. It is important that Congress use their power of the purse to set the parameters for this President’s actions given Obama’s continual use of his pen and phone to abuse the Constitutional separation of powers.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Sen. Cory Gardner bill insulates IRS from undue public sector union influence

Nov. 11, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) for introducing the Preventing Unionization of Revenue Service Employees Act that would bar the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from unionizing:

“Senator Gardner’s approach goes to the heart of the Hatch Act civil service protections that ensure the bureaucracy is not subject to undue political influence. The rise of public employee unions as major contributors to the left has long been a threat to the political neutrality of the civil service system. The IRS’ unprecedented targeting of conservative organizations and donors makes it all the more important that Senator Gardner’s brilliant legislation become law.”

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 appeals 5th Circuit ruling against executive amnesty

Nov. 10, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement in response to the Obama administration’s decision to appeal the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling overturning the White House’s executive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants with U.S.-born children:

“Obama’s decision to appeal the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling against executive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants puts the Supreme Court once again in focus in the debate over Congress’ Article I powers.

“The 5th Circuit even quoted Obama’s Nov. 2014 admission that it was the failure of Congress to enact such a program that prompted him to ‘change the law’ in their ruling against him. Any plain reading of the Constitution shows the 5th Circuit is correct, that Congress sets the rules for immigration, not the President. Obama had no authority to issue his amnesty.

“However, the Supreme Court has failed repeatedly to use a plain reading of the Constitution as its standard. Let us hope that the Roberts court takes a reading comprehension class before hearing Obama’s appeal. If they do, Obama’s executive amnesty will be thrown on the trash heap of history.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Sen. Rubio is right about Zero for Zero

Nov. 9, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement applauding Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) for coming out in favor of a zero for zero approach to eliminating U.S. sugar subsidies:

“Sen. Rubio has exactly the right approach to zero for zero sugar subsidies policies, which is to say, the U.S. should get rid of its subsidies when the rest of the world gets rid of theirs. This is the same exact approach akin to reciprocal tariff reduction that has been in place since the end of Smoot-Hawley. Everyone knows in a negotiation, that if you unilaterally cede ground, you lose all leverage. Unilaterally offering to end U.S. sugar and other agricultural subsidies would be like unilaterally offering to end tariffs on imported goods, without expecting anything in return. Why would we do that?

“Such an approach would wreck U.S. domestic production of sugar in favor of foreign competitors like Brazil who subsidize their sugar and want to dump it all over the market the minute we remove our subsidies. The same exact thing happened in the European Union, where after they took down their subsidies in the mid-2000s, foreign competitors dumped subsidized sugar onto the market, dramatically reducing domestic production. The Europeans went from being the second largest exporter to the world’s largest importer, according to a 2012 ProSunergy study.

“All this because world trade rules grant favors — special and differential treatment — to so-called developing nations like Brazil. Why would we continue with an approach that already subsidizes foreign competition with unfair rules, and then offer them even more subsidies on top of that by eliminating domestic protections?

“This is why we need zero for zero. In a true free market, there would be no subsidies. U.S. producers must not be asked to bow to foreign industries that are bankrolled by their governments. This is not about sugar, it is about what is fair.  And it is not fair to tell our farmers that their livelihoods are being outsourced to a foreign country that is subsidizing and cheating the system.

“We all want a free market. Not just in sugar, but for all industries. But unilaterally disarming America’s subsidies and hoping our heavily subsidized competitors follow suit is not a realistic way to achieve a free market. That is just wishful thinking and it is naïve. Yes, we should eliminate U.S. sugar subsidies, but we need to do it in a way where we can use it as leverage to actually achieve global reform and, then only when other governments are getting out of the market, too. It’s called negotiating, and it’s time we stopped losing those negotiations.”

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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Pacific trade deal cedes sovereignty to multinational commission

Nov. 5, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement against adoption of the Trans-Pacific Partnership:

“The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which regulates 40 percent of the global economy, will continue to outsource American jobs overseas, fail to do anything about currency manipulation, and once adopted, will create an international, unelected commission with broad authority to implement and interpret the agreement without any votes of Congress. These regulatory and judicial powers of the commission, in Article 27.2.2 of the agreement, will be akin to rogue agencies and activist courts in the U.S., that regularly issue edicts contrary to the law passed by elected representatives.

“While U.S. Trade Representative provided a chapter summary on its final provisions that it would take votes of Congress to amend the agreement and to allow other countries to dock into the agreement, the text of the agreement is not nearly so explicit, leaving significant concerns about how the trade agreement will function and whether U.S. representative democracy will be meaningful in its wake. Before any agreement is ratified, the language must be much stronger to make the need for Congress’ approval clear. A chapter summary is not the agreement itself. The danger of a runaway commission is too great for this to be ignored.

“But since Congress is forbidden from amending the agreement under terms of the fast track trade authority granted President Obama earlier this year, and the agreement will not be fixed later, the only recourse for members who share this concern is to simply vote no. Chile managed to get a provision into the agreement adhering to its Constitution explicitly into Article 27, but the U.S. could not? It’s not as if these concerns were not raised prior to the close of negotiations, making the lack of language explicitly safeguarding Article One and Two congressional prerogatives in the U.S. Constitution particularly inexcusable. This concern is exacerbated by President Obama’s on-going contempt for these prerogatives as demonstrated by his regulatory overreach and pen and phone approach to dictating policy.”

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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