The Senate voted to cut off ACORN Housing funds following the release of three videotapes that show employees of the activist group advising a “pimp” and “prostitute” on how to break the law.
The amendment, offered by Nebraska Republican Sen. Mike Johanns, passed in a vote of 83 to 7 and prohibits the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now from receiving funds from the current Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. It marks the third time this year Republicans tried to block the organization from federal funding.
This amendment by Senator Johanns was very new, a real under-the-radar move. He put it in H.R.3288, which was coming up for deliberation today in the Senate. When he initially proposed this amendment, he did not describe it. The only announcement on Thomas was this:
Sponsor: Sen Johanns, Mike [NE] (submitted 9/11/2009)
AMENDMENT PURPOSE: Purpose will be available when the amendment is proposed for consideration. See Congressional Record for text.
TEXT OF AMENDMENT AS SUBMITTED: CR S9298
Did he not want to tip his hand at the time? If any of our readers understands the machinations of amendments to House bills once they get over to the Senate, please fill us in on this one. Was Senator Johanns flanking the Dems, faking them out with this vague wording?
Here’s the bill he amended:
H.R.3288 Title: Making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.
I don’t know when he tipped his hand, but the full amendment was stated to have been given on 9/11/2009, last Friday:
Here’s how the legislation seems to have developed, per Thomas.gov:
SA 2355. Mr. JOHANNS submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill H.R. 3288, making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:
After section 414, insert the following:
Sec. 4__. None of the funds made available under this Act may be directly or indirectly distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
SA 2356. Mr. JOHANNS submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill H.R. 3288, making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:
After section 414, insert the following:
Sec. 4__. None of the funds made available under this Act shall be distributed to--
(1) an organization which has a pending indictment for or has been convicted of a violation under Federal or State law relating to fraudulent voting in any Federal or State election; or
(2) an organization which employs an individual who has a pending indictment for or has been convicted of a violation under Federal or State law relating to fraudulent voting in any Federal or State election.
This appears to say it will “lie on the table” - i.e., be tabled, but somehow it came up for a vote. That part is confusing.
As Fox says, the Republicans have been trying to stem the flow of funds to ACORN. Everyone and his brother believes ACORN to be a rogue organization. The stories over the previous week proved that.
You can read our initial story on the prostitute undercover sting here. We had the details up on the day the story broke, or at the most the day after. That was 9/11, the same day Senator Johanns filed his initial vague amendment.
And boy, did that sucker get voted in:
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83 Yea, 7 Nay, and 9 Not Present (I don’t know if they abstained or simply weren’t there). One of those not present was John McCain, who has multiple amendments attached to HR 3288. Strange.
Jim at Gateway Pundit has a list of those who voted nay. If you click his linked image, you’ll get the listing of the ayes, nays, and “not present” folks.
The story doesn’t seem to have gained much traction in the MSM. But the MSM tried to avoid the 9/12 Tea Party held in the Capitol. No doubt on Friday every Congressman was getting out of the way of the oncoming hordes about to descend on Saturday. Which is not to say they didn’t watch the demonstration on C-Span, or that they didn’t have their finger to the wind, testing to see which way it was blowing.
It is very probable that 9/12 was the most proximate cause for those 83 Yea votes on the Senator’s amendment to defund ACORN.
I doubt President Obama will have much to say about the mess. ACORN got him elected; what can he say that wouldn’t make this hole deeper?
The bloggers are on it: Michelle Malkin has a post and interesting comments; Jim, as mentioned above, and American Thinker, which proposes some RICO action on ACORN. The essay also has a video about ACORN’s proposed suit against Fox News. At the bottom of the video, they note:
Needless to say a lawsuit would only bring more attention to the case, and highlight the failure of MSM to cover serious corruption in an organization with deep ties to the president.
Now that would make life interesting in this interregnum period leading up the 2010 elections. There is going to be a great deal of movement on various issues in the coming months. With ACORN added to the pot (and de-linked from the Census, thankyouverymuch), things will be chaotic and noisy.
Whatever comes down will not help the President’s various causes. On the other hand, he’s a machine politician. When parts of the machine start to fall off, one can presume he will simply back the bus up over them and then continue going. It’s the Chicago (Boston-Detroit-St. Louis, etc., ad nauseam) Way of Doing Business. You don’t go back to pick up the wounded, you go back to finish them off.
Just wait until the wounded find out they’ve been run over after all their loyalty and hard work. Can you say “squealers”?