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Editorial: Senate Should Affirm the Foxx Amendment

Last week, the House passed the “Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act” 325-105, a bill that establishes as a goal expanding national service organizations like AmeriCorps dramatically from 75,000 to 250,000. Gaining attention is an amendment to the bill inserted by Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) that prohibits participating not-for-profit entities from using taxpayer money for lobbying, political organizing, or other political purposes.

As the legislation proceeds through the Senate, it remains to be seen if these taxpayer protections will not ultimately be stripped out. Removing the provisions would allow taxpayer-funded not-for-profit organizations participating in the national service program to, among other things, lobby Congress for yet more tax dollars.

In essence, a vote to remove the Foxx amendment is a vote to hand yet more money over to radical groups like ACORN without any consideration as to the propriety of lobbying organizations participating in a national service program. Without Congresswoman Foxx's amendment, the legislation will, without a doubt, move billions of dollars into hundreds, if not thousands, of left-leaning organizations and special interest groups.

Ultimately, the GIVE Act is a bad bill as it seeks to achieve an unnecessary purpose. Expanding national “service” via funding of non-profit entities, that just turn around to lobby government for more money, and also give millions in campaign contributions, is simply pay-to-play corruption. The organizations that give the most, get the most. This system has perpetuated for decades.

And now Mrs. Foxx may bring an end to it all.

That is why an amendment to an otherwise bad piece of legislation prohibiting individuals and organizations that participate in national service programs would at from engaging in lobbying, and also prevented from co-locating upon the same premises as organizations that lobby must be preserved. It is the least Congress can do, if the bill must pass, to protect American taxpayers who grow weary of the constant deluge of waste, fraud, and abuses by government.

However, as the bill moves through the Senate the danger exists that members will strip out the Foxx amendment, either in the Senate or in conference. The message they must hear from their constituents is that a vote against the Foxx amendment is a vote in favor of national ‘service' organizations engaging in lobbying on the taxpayer's dime. It is a vote funnel tax dollars to radical organizations.

Americans for Limited Government promises to release information on campaign contributions from organizations participating in national service programs to members of Congress that vote to remove the Foxx amendment from the bill. They should consider this notice.

Members must understand that they are being watched closely, and ALG News urges news outlets to hold representatives and senators accountable for where they wind up standing on this issue. A vote to remove the Foxx amendment can only be viewed for what it is: a vote in favor of lobbying with tax dollars and against taxpayers.


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