If the Redskins have to change their name, the Senate should rename Russell Senate Office Building

June 18, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) urged the Senate to change the name of the Russell Senate Office Building.

The building was named after Georgian Democrat Senator Richard Russell, Jr. who Mehrens noted “filibustered civil rights legislation, actively supported segregation, and even co-authored the Southern Manifesto against the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling, Brown v. Board of Education.”

Mehrens was responding to a June 12 letter from Reid to Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen urging the team to change its name. In it Reid stated, “during my time in the United States Senate, I have worked to right many of the injustices endured by Americans throughout the country” and to that end that he would “not stand idly by while a professional sports team promotes a racial slur as a team name and disparages the American people.”

Keeping the name Russell Office Building, Mehrens wrote, after “an avowed racist, Democrat segregationist, stands as a symbol ‘of the injustices endured by Americans’ of African-American descent in the segregated South by racist Democrat administrations and legislatures.”

“What could be more disparaging to Americans of African-American descent?” Mehrens asked.

Mehrens proposed that the building be renamed the Hiram Rhodes Revels Senate Office Building. Revels was the first black senator elected after the Civil War, in 1870, and a Republican, for the state of Mississippi.

“Renaming the building after Revels, a suggestion first made by Washington, D.C.-based talk show host Chris Plante, could be the first of many recompenses Democrat leaders such as yourself might undertake, particularly considering the Party’s historic support of both slavery and segregation policies, to scrub the Capitol clean of its racist, Democrat history,” Mehrens explained.

“The Russell Senate Office Building remains a stain on the honorable institution that is the Senate. We urge you to consider renaming it with the same haste you have urged the Redskins to change their name,” the Mehrens letter to Reid concluded.

Attachments:

Letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens, June 18, 2014 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Reid-Redskins-Russell-Office-Building-Letter-6-18-14-npm.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 Nathan Mehrens.

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Lee amendment would defund HUD racial housing quotas in Senate appropriations bill

June 17, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement in favor of an amendment to the Transportation and HUD appropriations bill Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) plans to offer defunding implementation of the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule, which in October will empower the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to condition eligibility for community development block grants on redrawing zoning maps to achieve racial and income integration:

“We call on every member of the Senate to support Sen. Mike Lee’s amendment to defund HUD’s regime 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, particularly at a time when the Supreme Court has rejected racial quotas as unconstitutional. This will never withstand judicial scrutiny. Besides, the HUD rule will do nothing to stop real housing discrimination based on race that has been illegal since the 1960s.

“This attempt to nationalize our most basic living decisions must be stopped, and we thank Sen. Lee for championing this issue.  Americans for Limited Government strongly supports the Lee amendment to defund racial quotas in local zoning decisions.”

Attachments:

Proposed draft amendment to H.R. 4660, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), June 17, 2014 at http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/LeeAmendmentHUDTransportationApprops-6-17-14.pdf

“Senate must defund HUD racial housing quotas,” By Americans for Limited Government senior editor Robert Romano, June 16, 2014 at http://netrightdaily.com/2014/06/senate-must-defund-hud-racial-housing-quotas/

“House defunds HUD racial housing quotas,” Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens, Statement, June 10, 2014 at http://getliberty.org/house-defunds-hud-racial-housing-quotas/

Lee press release text, June 17, 2014 at http://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=05cdbb9c-c658-496e-b63d-c9acde1deff3 :

Lee to offer amendment to keep housing decisions in local hands

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Mike Lee announced his plans to offer an amendment that would block funding for a regulation that allows the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to dictate local zoning requirements in any community across the country.

“Even for our highly centralized federal government, this rule represents an extreme step in consolidating government decisions over distinctly local matters within the hands of distant, unaccountable bureaucrats,” said Lee. “Local authorities are far more attuned to the unique conditions and needs of their communities, and they have a personal stake in their success. In every state across the country, there is no doubt that a mayors and councilmen will be more personally invested and more effective in improving the lives of the people in their community than a federal official located in Washington, D.C.”

Senator Lee plans to offer his amendment to the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act should it be brought to the floor this week.

If funded, the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule would empower federal officials to assert the authority to force any community that receives a Community Development Block Grant to comply with zoning plans written in Washington.  This rule effectively allows HUD to carve up the country, block by block, according to its own priorities and preferences.

Community Development Block Grants are allocations of federal tax dollars, issued to local governments by HUD, to address a variety of community development needs. One of the primary uses of these resources is to provide affordable public housing for individuals and families in need. Sadly, the inevitable consequence of federal management over how local officials spend this money will only make it harder for communities to provide adequate low-cost housing for their neighbors in need.

To protect the ability of local officials to serve low-income communities, Senator Lee’s amendment would prevent this egregious power grab by the federal government and would keep housing decisions closest to the people who are affected by them.

Rep. Paul Gosar is the original sponsor of a similar amendment in the House, which was successfully added to H.R. 4745, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015.

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Did the IRS delete Lois Lerner emails from Jan. 2009 to April 2011?

June 13, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement blasting the IRS for supposedly losing over two years of Lois Lerner email relevant to continued Congressional investigations of the agency targeting of tea party and other 501(c)(4) non-profit groups:

“Lois Lerner’s two years of lost emails are going to make the 18-minute gap in the Nixon tapes look like nothing at all. We will never learn what was in those 18 minutes, but every federal government agency operates under recordkeeping requirements that mandate the agency preserve records that contain proper documentation of the functions, policies, and decisions made by the agency and its officials. It would take a massive, concerted cover up in order to delete those emails. We may never know the contents, but the very fact the emails are supposedly missing is grounds to investigate everyone involved in the chain of custody of these emails.  In short, this two-year email gap makes Richard Nixon look open and transparent.”

Attachments:

IRS claims to have lost over 2 Years of Lerner emails, House Ways and Means Committee, June 13, 2014 at http://waysandmeans.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=384506

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Raul Labrador enters House Majority Leader race, ALG comments

June 13, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement praising Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) for entering the race for House Majority Leader that will take place next week:

“Idaho Republican Raul Labrador’s entrance into the race for Majority Leader of the House of Representatives provides House Republicans with a unique opportunity to decide the direction they wish to take over the next six months.

“Republicans across the nation should be heartened by Labrador’s bold decision. A competitive battle of ideas between current Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and the Idaho congressman will hopefully invigorate the Conference, serving as the stimulus in the fight for limiting government.

“Americans for Limited Government praises Labrador’s decision to engage all House Republicans in a debate about the ideas that should direct them over the remainder of the 113th Congress. The entire nation will hopefully benefit from this soul searching decision about who should be Majority Leader for the rest of the year.”

Attachments:

Rep. Labrador announced his decision saying, “Republicans need to address the growing challenges of immobility amongst the poor, insecurity in the middle class and stop protecting the special interests at the top. We must ensure every American has an equal opportunity to succeed, that they are treated fairly not only by the laws we pass in Congress, but by our political system. We must restore the proper role of government to create space for free markets and civil society to prosper and flourish. And we have to unify the country around the values we share, the ideas we all support, and solutions we can agree on. President Obama and the Democrats have had their chance and they have failed. Republicans must be willing to take these challenges head on with new leadership, fresh ideas, and a different approach. I am running for Majority Leader because I want to help create a vision of growth and opportunity for everyone and start getting to work for the American people.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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House votes to subsidize unions

June 11, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement blasting the House of Representatives for failing to stop taxpayer subsidies for unions in the Housing and Urban Development and Transportation appropriations bill through the defeat an amendment offered by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) that would have defunded the practice known as “official time” where taxpayers pay federal employees to work for unions:

“By failing to adopt the Gingrey rider to the Transportation appropriations bill, the House has voted to subsidize union work. Unions could pay for these employees themselves. Why are taxpayers subsidizing organized labor? And why are members of the House blocking efforts to bring an end to this unjustifiable practice?

“We applaud Rep. Gingrey’s efforts to defund taxpayer subsidies for union officials. While the result is disappointing, there will be more opportunities in future appropriations bills to defund the hundreds of full-time union official and thousands more part-time across the federal government who are working on the taxpayer’s dime. We urge the House to reconsider this issue carefully.”

Attachments:

“Public employee union’s ‘official time’ personnel bailout,” By Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens, Washington Examiner, April 21, 2013 at http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2527755

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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House defunds HUD racial housing quotas

June 10, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement praising House passage of the Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) rider to the Transportation and HUD appropriations bill that will defund implementation of the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” regulation:

“Americans for Limited Government commends the House of Representatives and particularly, Representative Paul Gosar, for the vote to defund HUD’s attempt to federalize local zoning decisions using community development grants as the cudgel to create evenly distributed neighborhoods on the basis of race and income.

“Gosar’s courage in standing firm against this latest example of Obama Administration social engineering serves as a model for his colleagues seeking to limit the size and scope of government.

“Housing discrimination has rightfully been illegal under federal law for two generations.  The Obama Administration’s regulation is not about discrimination; instead it is about nationalizing local zoning decisions to achieve a utopian agenda.  These decisions are among the most difficult that local governments face, as they impact every aspect of a community.  Consideration of zoning ordinances and master plans are debated by neighbors and serve as the epitome of citizen involvement in their government. We don’t need unconstitutional racial housing quotas imposed by Washington, D.C. over matters best left to local communities.

“The House of Representatives’ decision to defund this Obama regulation will stop the big foot of the federal government from treading all over local governments’ prerogatives and the fundamental right of citizen input in the process. Americans for Limited Government urges the U.S. Senate to join the House in defunding this ill-conceived federal government intrusion into local government zoning prerogatives.”

Attachments:

Video clip of Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) proposing his amendment on the floor on June 9:
http://www.c-span.org/video/?c4500388/gosar-amendment-floor-debate (C-Span video clip)

Gosar amendment to Transportation and HUD appropriations bill:
http://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/GOSAR_133_xml.pdf

HUD rulemaking, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing”:
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/07/19/2013-16751/affirmatively-furthering-fair-housing#h-19

Will House defund Obama’s racial housing quotas? By Americans for Limited Government senior editor Robert Romano, June 9, 2014:
http://netrightdaily.com/2014/06/will-house-defund-obamas-racial-housing-quotas/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Gosar amendment to defund HUD racial zoning rule in appropriations vote

June 6, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement in favor of an amendment to the Transportation and HUD appropriations bill Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) plans to offer defunding implementation of the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule, which in October will empower the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to condition eligibility for community development block grants on redrawing zoning maps to achieve racial and income integration:

“We call on every member of the House to support Rep. Gosar’s amendment to defund HUD’s scheme to redraw zoning maps in any locality that accepts any part of the $3.5 billion a year in community development block grants from the federal government. The utopian goal of creating evenly distributed neighborhoods based on racial composition and income is bad policy, and it is unconstitutional.

“HUD has no place in local zoning decisions. Under federalism, that is left up to states, counties and municipalities to determine for themselves. At a time when the Supreme Court is roundly rejecting racial quotas as unconstitutional, there is no place for wasting taxpayer dollars on social engineering that will never withstand judicial scrutiny.

“Housing discrimination based on race has been illegal since the 1960s, and people should be allowed to choose for themselves where they live without D.C. bureaucrats nationalizing zoning decisions for political reasons.

“Rep. Gosar deserves the thanks of all Americans for his courage in taking on this backdoor attempt to federalize our most basic living decisions. Americans for Limited Government strongly supports the Gosar amendment to defund racial quotas in local zoning decisions.”

Attachments:

“Racial quotas for local zoning decisions?” By Robert Romano, June 6, 2014 at http://netrightdaily.com/2014/06/racial-quotas-local-zoning-decisions/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Jobs data, weak growth send mixed signals

June 6, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement on the latest jobs numbers:

“Today’s jobs report remains out of sync with the overall economic situation.  While the reported numbers would indicate lackluster economic growth, even this level of job growth is incongruent with the 1 percent drop in the GDP our economy experienced in the first quarter.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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Time to defund HUD racial zoning rule in appropriations vote

June 5, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement urging the House of Representatives to defund implementation of the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule that will empower the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to condition eligibility for community development block grants on redrawing zoning maps to achieve racial and income integration:

“Starting in October, HUD is empowering itself to redraw zoning maps in any locality that accepts any portion of the $3.5 billion a year in community development block grants from the federal government in an attempt to create evenly distributed neighborhoods based on racial composition and income. This is a utopian pipe dream, and social engineering at its worst.

“Neighborhoods are constituted not based on racial quotas, but on economics. Housing discrimination based on race has been illegal for decades. There is no discrimination in people choosing for themselves where they want to live, and yet that is exactly what HUD is seeking to regulate.

“HUD has no place in local zoning decisions, and it is up to the House of Representatives to defund this dangerous rulemaking through a rider to the Transportation and HUD appropriations bill coming up next week before the regulation’s projected October implementation.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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New EPA regs will crush economy

June 2, 2014, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement objecting to new EPA power plant regulations:

“Last week’s announcement that the economy had cratered in the first quarter of 2014 with a 1 percent decline in the Gross Domestic Product should have forced President Obama to reconsider his devastating new anti-electricity generation regulations.

“This past month’s jobs report that showed that nearly one in six men ages 25-54 are not working in America, should have forced President Obama to reconsider.

“The past seventeen years where there has been zero global warming recorded, should have forced the President to reconsider.

“Now that the President has chosen to ignore science, workers and our nation’s overall economic health, it is reasonable to assume that he never cared about any of these things.  Instead, President Obama is looking for a legacy funded by billionaire environmentalist dilettantes who can erect a statue in his name in spite of a presidency that has driven a spike through the hope of a better future for the middle class.

“Barack Obama’s 645 page assault on the ability of our nation to generate enough electricity to keep the lights on in our cities in the future, is nothing less than an economic suicide pact that must be stopped by Congress using any means necessary.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at (202)744-4427 or at media@algnews.org to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Nathan Mehrens.

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