Washington, Jan 23 - The House Democrats’ trillion dollar spending bill, approved on January 21 by the Appropriations Committee and headed to the House floor next week for a vote, could open billions of taxpayer dollars to left-wing groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). ACORN has been accused of perpetrating voter registration fraud numerous times in the last several elections; is reportedly under federal investigation; and played a key role in the irresponsible schemes that caused a financial meltdown that has cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars since last fall.
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and other Republicans are asking a simple question: what does this have to do with job creation? Are Congressional Democrats really going to borrow money from our children and grandchildren to give handouts to ACORN in the name of economic “stimulus?”
Incredibly, the Democrats’ bill makes groups like ACORN eligible for a $4.19 billion pot of money for “neighborhood stabilization activities.” Funds for this purpose were authorized in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act, signed into law in 2008. However, these funds were limited to state and local governments. Now House Democrats are taking the unprecedented step of making ACORN and other groups eligible for these funds:
“For a further additional amount for ‘Community Development Fund,’ $4,190,000,000, to be used for neighborhood stabilization activities related to emergency assistance for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes as authorized under division B, title III of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (Public Law 110–289), of which—
“(1) not less than $3,440,000,000 shall be allocated by a competition for which eligible entities shall be States, units of general local government, and nonprofit entities or consortia of nonprofit entities[.]”
“(2) up to $750,000,000 shall be awarded by competition to nonprofit entities or consortia of nonprofit entities to provide community stabilization assistance […]”
The House Democrats’ trillion dollar spending bill also includes $1 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. CDBG funds are given by the federal government to state and local governments which often contract with nonprofits for services related to the purpose of the grant.
ACORN knows how to secure CDBG funds. Audit reports filed by ACORN’s headquarters with the Office of Management and Budget show that ACORN spent $1,588,599 in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program funds from FY 2003 through FY 2007. It is not clear from these records when or from what source the funds were awarded to ACORN. It is also not clear whether ACORN chapters or affiliates have received CDBG grants on their own.
House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) repeatedly urged President George W. Bush and other federal officials to withhold taxpayer funds from ACORN, including $17.2 million in federal grants awarded in December 2008 after numerous allegations of wrongdoing in connection with ACORN’s election activities were reported by the news media.
Leader Boehner also released a study of federal records in October 2008 listing tens of millions in federal grants received by ACORN. A new updated and more expansive study reveals that ACORN has actually received millions more than first thought. A review of the Federal Register and news releases issued by federal agencies showed that ACORN was awarded more than $53 million in taxpayer dollars. This amount does not reflect the millions more ACORN has received in federal block grant funds awarded to state and local agencies which passed them on to ACORN.
Read it here.