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House Votes To Strip ACORN of Federal Funding


September 17, 2009

(SitNews) - The Republican Motion to Recommit stripping ACORN of federal funding was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives today. The Motion to Recommit passed 345-75. ACORN, the premier community organizing group on the left, has come under heavy fire after damaging undercover videos were aired by Fox News showing counselors giving advice on tax fraud to two independent filmmakers posing as a prostitute and a pimp

Representative Don Young (R-AK), a cosponsor of the original bill to strip funding, H.R. 3571, the Defund ACORN Act, said in a prepared statement today, "ACORN is in violation of federal laws, and what we did today ensures that the tax dollars of hard-working Americans will not be used to fund any more of their fraudulent and illegal activity." Young said,"The federal government needs to sever all ties with this organization"

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said in a prepared statement, "Today's overwhelming bipartisan vote to stop all federal funding of ACORN is a victory for American taxpayers. Of course, it is only the beginning. We need to keep up the fight to end taxpayer funding for this troubled organization."

"House Republicans have worked tirelessly to sever ACORN's ties to the federal government. Those efforts began to bear fruit late last week when the Census Bureau ended its relationship with ACORN under steady pressure from Republican lawmakers. Though today's vote indicates that the writing's on the wall for ACORN, President Obama must indicate whether he will join the Congress in taking decisive action to break all government ties with this corrupt organization."

On House Adoption of Anti-ACORN Amendment , Bertha Lewis, CEO of ACORN said in a prepared statement today, "We're disappointed that the House took the rare and politically convenient step of attempting to eliminate federal funding for a single organization, one that has been the target of a multi-year political assault stemming variously from the Bush White House, Fox News, and other conservative quarters."

Lewis said, "Fortunately, ACORN derives most of its income from its members and other supporters, so the decision will have little impact on overall operations. The only real victims of today's vote are the families who have benefited from ACORN's important work."

After the House of Representatives voted to cut all federal funding for ACORN, Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-Virginai) said in a prepared statement, ""ACORN has violated serious federal laws, and today the House voted to ensure that taxpayer dollars would no longer be used to fund this corrupt organization. All federal ties should be severed with ACORN, and the FBI should investigate its activity. This united Republican effort to defund ACORN was a victory for the rule of law and taxpayers across the country."

The Motion to Recommit was attached to a student aid bill. Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee Rep. George Miller (D-CA) , suggested to Fox News that the vote is essentially symbolic because the student aid bill did not actually provide any funding to ACORN.

On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted 83-7 to strip Acorn of more than $1.6 million in federal housing money meant to assist low-income people obtain loans and prepare tax forms. This dramatic step followed last Friday's decision by the U.S. Census Bureau to sever its ties with the organization, one of several community groups it was partnering with to conduct the nation's head count.

Both of these actions came after secretly recorded videos involving employees in Acorn's Brooklyn, N.Y., Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md. and San Bernardino, Calif. offices were televised on Fox News. The videos were recorded by two independent filmmakers posing as a prostitute and a pimp. They approached Acorn saying they were planning to import underage women from El Salvador for the sex trade. They asked for and received advice on getting a housing loan and evading federal taxes.

In response earlier this week, Acorn has so far fired four of the employees seen on the videos. At first Acorn claimed the videos were "doctored" and accused critics of a smear campaign and "racist coverage" of the incidents.

The Defund ACORN Act prohibits any "federal contract grant, cooperative agreement or any other form of agreement (including a memorandum of understanding" from being awarded to or entered into with the group. It also prohibits federal funds "in any other form" from being provided.

The 75 lawmakers who voted "no" and two who voted "present" were all Democrats. Click here to see how your representative voted

The Senate is also considering a complete ban similar to that passed today by the House.

Efforts to deny ACORN federal funding will require President Obama to sign the bill into law.



Earlier this week, House Republican Leader Boehner introduced H.R. 3571, the Defund ACORN Act, which has now been adopted as part of H.R. 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009. An analysis of federal data by the Office of the Republican Leader staff determined that ACORN has received more than $53 million in direct funding from the federal government since 1994, and has likely received substantially more indirectly through states and localities that receive federal block grants. House Republicans have also sent a letter to President Obama asking him to use his authority to end all funding to and break all government ties with ACORN.


Sources of News:

Office of Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

Office of Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)



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Ketchikan, Alaska