Attorney General Jeff Sessions ends sue and settle

Nov. 11, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that he is ending the practice of sue and settle:

“Once again Attorney General Jeff Sessions is proving himself to be the right man for the job at the Justice Department with his announcement that the radical judicial lawmaking tool of sue and settle has come to end. No longer will radical left-wing groups be able to collude with the government, through the settling of contrived lawsuits designed to expand the scope of government via judicial fiat. Attorney General Sessions rightly says that agencies must follow the law, not make it.

“Last month Sessions also ended the practice of including third party groups into Justice Department settlements. This practice had been abused by the Obama administration to funnel millions of dollars into left-wing radical groups.

“Recipients of these Obama windfalls should be audited by the DOJ Inspector General to determine if they are performing the duties associated with the settlements, and if not, the Justice Department should claw back the monies they received.”

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 100 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts.

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Obama DOJ settlements funded far left

Oct. 24, 2017, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte’s (R-Va.) release of documents proving the Obama Justice Department allocated settlement funds to third party groups for ideological reasons:

“Judiciary Committee Chairman Goodlatte was right when he sought to defund these third-party settlements, which were nothing more than political payola to radical, left-wing groups. The insidiousness of this scheme to turn mortgage bank settlements into multi-million-dollar payouts to support left-wing politics, is that it just hasn’t occurred out of the Justice Department. Through sue-and-settle and various federal government grants, the taxpayers are amongst the largest sugar daddies for far-left causes.

“The Justice Department emails released by Goodlatte show that only approved left-wing groups were eligible for the banks to make payouts to as part of their settlements, overtly excluding deemed to be too conservative. What’s worse, is that the settlements often gave the banks double credit if they gave money to the left-wing groups rather than paying the government. Meaning, every $10 million to left-wing groups was counted the same as $20 million to the government.

“Goodlatte’s disclosures show once again that there wasn’t single area of government that Obama did not corrupt into being a part of a left-wing funding machine. Obama’s Justice Department effectively appropriated federal funds to these third-party groups without Congressional approval, violating Article I of the Constitution as this was a revenue stream to the government that was then illegally diverted to political ends. The actors who signed off on those political allocations should be subjected to the full weight of the law, including loss of pension and at the very least significant fines.”

Attachments:

“No DOJ legal settlement monies to third-party groups should be allowed in omnibus,” Americans for Limited Government, Dec. 2, 2015 at https://getliberty.org/2015/12/no-doj-legal-settlement-monies-to-third-party-groups-should-be-allowed-in-omnibus/

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 100 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts.

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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 [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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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 [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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ALG thanks 32 House Republicans for signing Marino-Duffy letter against legal settlements transferring monies to third party groups

Dec. 11, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement thanking 32 House Republicans who signed onto a letter by Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) urging House leaders to include a rider in the omnibus spending bill for the remainder of fiscal year 2016 that would prohibit the use of funds to award monies from legal settlements to third party activist groups:

“Americans for Limited Government thanks the 32 House members who signed the Marino-Duffy letter against the use of legal settlement monies for third party activist groups. These slush funds are inexcusable. In the past 16 months alone the Department of Justice has awarded a half-a-billion dollars to third party activist groups, but thanks to the efforts of these House members now, it may be stopped in the omnibus.

The $17 billion Bank of America settlement is a perfect example of the misuse of settlements as Bank of America was required to give millions of dollars to third party activist groups. Legal proceedings by the government must never be used as shakedowns to enrich the coffers of any political cause, regardless of ideology.”

Letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Dec. 7, 2015 at https://getliberty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Duffy-Marino-Letter-to-Ryan-and-McCarthy-on-DOJ-Settlements.pdf

Tom Marino
Sean Duffy
Jeff Miller
Scott Tipton
Scott Garrett
Chris Stewart
Doug LaMalfa
Stephen Fincher
John Fleming
Paul Gosar
Ken Buck
Mike Kelly
Mike Fitzpatrick
Buddy Carter
Peter King
Scott DesJarlais
John Ratcliffe
Mike Bishop
Ralph Abraham
Tom Emmer
Brad Wenstrup
Jim Bridenstine
Tom McClintock
Dave Trott
French Hill
Randy Hultgren
Doug Collins
Jeb Hensarling
Darrell Issa
Jim Sensenbrenner
Lamar Smith
Rob Woodall
Gus Bilirakis
Blake Farenthold

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at [email protected] 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 [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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Buck amendment passes, defunds payments to third party groups from settlements

July 9, 2015, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement praising the House of Representatives for passing an amendment by Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) that will defund any settlements from being used to make any payments to third party groups:

“The Buck amendment defunds the Department of Interior and any of its agencies from requiring mandatory donations to radical environmentalist, third party groups as a part of any settlement agreement the department enters into. This taxpayer funding of the environmental left is outrageous and Ken Buck’s stepping forward to put an end to it is both courageous and commendable.”

Attachments:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following:

SEC. ll. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to pay the salaries and expenses of personnel or any other entity to negotiate or conclude a settlement with the Federal Government that includes terms requiring the defendant to donate or contribute funds to an organization or individual.

Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 106 or at [email protected] to arrange an interview with ALG experts including ALG President Rick Manning.

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