By Paul Blumenthal
This post originally appeared on OpenCongress.
A few weeks ago Congress passed the Defund ACORN Act (it was attached to another bill during a motion to recommit), a bill designed at defunding the beleaguered community organization. While many Democrats voted for the bill, most seemed caught flat-footed.
Most of Congress appeared to be caught not knowing what they were even voting on. Later examination of the bill revealed that it was so broad as to not only ban federal funds from going to ACORN, but also to major defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman.
Rep. Betty McCollum released a new bill (H.R. 3679) to counter the previous one, this time taking the errors in the Defund ACORN Act seriously. The question seems to be: would Republicans eager to defund a community organization allied with Democrats also vote to deny funds to other organizations that have been found to have defrauded the government? This would not just include defense contractors, but also health care companies like Pfizer.
The key point in McCollum’s bill is that the penalty of cutting federal funds to an organization would only occur if the organization was found guilty. The Defund ACORN Act simply stated that an organization needed to be under investigation, which could be cause for abuse by federal, state or local prosecutors.
We’ll see how those 345 congressmen who voted for the Defund ACORN Act vote on this bill if it is brought up.