Coalition Guest Commentary - Rep. Michele Bachmann: Federal ACORN Funding Cutoffs Must Be More than Political Posturing

Two weeks ago, the AP reported that acting under a tip from ACORN, authorities in Florida have arrested 11 individuals accused of falsifying hundreds of voter applications during a registration drive last year. According to the press report, "the suspects collectively turned in about 1,400 registration cards, of which 888 were later found to be faked."

While this was certainly a smart move on ACORN's part to assist in this criminal investigation, this controversial organization is far too often implicated in these falsified voter registration activities.

Over the years, ACORN and its employees have been the subject of investigations, indictments, and consent decrees in states all across the nation for election-related activities that run afoul of the law. Yet, since 1994, Congress has given it $53 million. And, legislation passed this year alone will make billions potentially available to this organization. Could Washington find no more worthy way to spend your money?

I put this to a vote by the House of Representatives with an amendment that said that organizations that have been indicted for voter registration fraud or who employee people who have been so indicted shouldn't be eligible for taxpayer funding. On a nearly party-line vote, my amendment failed. Coincidently, that very week the vote took place, ACORN was hauled into court in two states for voter registration fraud. If Congress cannot draw the line here, where will it draw the line on how it spends your money?

Last week, additional incriminating information was uncovered that even the main stream media could not ignore. The U.S. Census took heed of my pleas to sever ties with ACORN, and both the House and Senate passed two separate amendments that would block additional federal funding for ACORN. While these actions are certainly a step in the right direction, we need to take more than political moves that result in no change.

As of today, not one dime has been withheld from ACORN. The House and Senate both voted to block funding from ACORN, but their votes were on two separate and entirely unrelated bills. As we learned in 8th grade civics, in order for a bill to become law, the House and Senate must pass identical bills before reaching the President's desk.

I hope this vote is followed through with meaningful legislation that immediately halts additional taxpayer dollars from being funneled to ACORN and a thorough investigation by the IRS, DOJ, and Congress into ACORN's years of shady activities and abuse of the law and public trust. When your government gives out your money, the recipient must be trustworthy. Clearly, ACORN has a lot of work to do before they fit the bill.

 

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a Republican who represents the 6th Congressional District of Minnesota, is a leading advocate for bipartisan earmark reform and tax relief and is a staunch opponent of wasteful government spending.

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