Wednesday, September 16, 2009




September 16, 2009 | House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) | Permalink

After new evidence surfaced linking the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) to potentially criminal activity, House Republicans sprung into action yesterday, announcing a new series of steps to sever the troubled organization’s ties to the federal government, including:

Legislation introduced by House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) – H.R. 3571, the Defund ACORN Act – to stop federal funding of ACORN once and for all.
A letter to President Obama signed by roughly 130 House Republicans asking him to take action to publicly disclose and terminate all taxpayer funding of ACORN.
An effort led by House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Ways & Means Committee Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) to urge the IRS to end any referrals to ACORN offices for tax preparation consultation. The Census Bureau took a similar step on Friday when it announced it would end its partnership with ACORN in conducting the 2010 Census under steady pressure from House Republicans, including Oversight & Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA), Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA).
Leader Boehner talked about House Republicans’ renewed efforts to ensure no additional tax dollars are directed to ACORN in a newly released web video:


Rank-and-file House Democrats have clearly begun to get the message: the New York Post has Rep. Michael McMahon’s (D-NY) office saying he is “supportive” of a measure to deny federal funding. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) says he would be “open” to such a move.

Democratic leaders, however, are still protecting ACORN: The Baltimore Sun reports that Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) “stopped short of supporting” a measure to defend ACORN, while Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refused to comment.

Of course, there’s nothing unusual about the hedging and the silence and the inaction. In his Wall Street Journal column today, John Fund detailed the lengths to which Democratic leaders have gone to protect ACORN:

“Acorn’s allies in Congress have long stopped every move to rein it in. Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa), for example, has tried six times to get House floor votes restricting Acorn’s access to federal funds but has been blocked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand-picked Rules Committee members. Some Democrats have grumbled. Michigan’s John Conyers, chair of the Judiciary Committee, urged a hearing be held on Acorn abuses in March, but later told the Washington Times ‘the powers that be decided against it.’” (9/16/09)

As Leader Boehner said in his web video, “Enough is enough.” All told, ACORN has received $53 million in federal funding since 1994. The American people are tired of seeing Washington spend their hard-earned money with reckless abandon. Protecting taxpayer dollars sometimes requires making tough choices. This isn’t one of them.

Following is just some of the media coverage of House GOP efforts to stop all federal funding for ACORN:

“Republicans Try To Crush ACORN…Republican lawmakers are trying to crush this group that they’ve long considered suspect. Just today: House Minority Leader John Boehner introduced legislation, the Defund ACORN Act, to sever all ties between the federal government and the group. Boehner, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, and GOP Rep. Dave Camp wrote the Internal Revenue Service a letter, asking that agency to end its association with ACORN, which helps low- and middle-income Americans with their tax preparations. And GOP Rep. Lamar Smith, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, called for the FBI and Justice Department to investigate the group.” – MSNBC’s First Read, 9/15/09
“On Tuesday, the House Republican leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, wrote to President Obama asking him to cut off all federal financing to Acorn and its affiliates. ‘It is evident that Acorn is incapable of using federal funds in a manner that is consistent with the law,’ Mr. Boehner wrote.” – The New York Times, 9/16/09
“GOP Seizes on ACORN Funding…Republican congressional leaders have launched an all-out campaign to choke off any federal dollars from going to ACORN, the scandal-plagued anti-poverty group. … After the Senate voted on Monday to bar any new federal money for ACORN — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now — from the Departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other top Republicans began pressing President Barack Obama to use his executive authority to extend the ban to all federal agencies. … Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, called on the FBI and Justice Department to investigate the organization, claiming ‘voter registration fraud allegations have led ACORN to be subject to investigation in 15 states.’” – Politico, 9/16/09

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