A letter from House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) demands an explanation from the Treasury…
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Treasury Dept. Approves $3 Billion Transfer to Insurance Companies that Congress Denied

A letter from House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) demands an explanation from the Treasury Department on why it allowed $3 billion in payments to ObamaCare insurance companies that Congress never approved.

In a well-documented piece, Philip Klein gives a disturbing summary of the Obama administration deliberately refusing to follow the law.

“At issue are payments to insurers known as cost-sharing subsidies,” writes Klein. “These payments come about because President Obama’s healthcare law forces insurers to limit out-of-pocket costs for certain low income individuals by capping consumer expenses, such as deductibles and co-payments, in insurance plans. In exchange for capping these charges, insurers are supposed to receive compensation.”

Here’s the rub.

“…[more]

February 26, 2015 • 08:23 pm

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Gang’s Immigration Bill Funnels $100 Million to Leftwing Community Organizers Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, May 09 2013
[A] close reading of the text reveals that the structure, membership and funding requirements are all designed with one goal in mind – creating a publicly financed slush fund for radical leftwing activists.

A little-noticed section of the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill could funnel up to $100 million in taxpayer-provided funds to leftwing community organizers for helping to “integrate” newly legalized immigrants into American society.

At the heart of the 24-page scheme (pp.383-407) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. The entity, called the “United States Citizenship Foundation” (USCF), will be created by politically appointed immigration officials to disperse $100 million in congressionally appropriated grant money to private organizations specializing in outreach to immigrant communities. 

In addition, because of its non-profit status, USCF will be able to receive large donations from private individuals to supplement its $10 million annual operating budget.

According to the proposed statute, the purpose of USCF is to use its grant-making power to “coordinate immigrant integration with State and local entities.”

But a close reading of the text reveals that the structure, membership and funding requirements are all designed with one goal in mind – creating a publicly financed slush fund for radical leftwing activists.

Let’s start with the structure.

Creating a non-profit corporation allows those overseeing USCF to move at least one step outside of direct congressional oversight. As a government-run private enterprise, it’s unclear how much access Congress can demand into its internal operations, such as funding and spending decisions.  

Moreover, seeding the foundation with $100 million in grant money for its first five years loosens Congress’ hold on the purse strings, since the Gang’s bill, if passed, makes an immediate appropriation that will last until 2018.

The foundation’s ability to receive donations from private parties also opens the door to contributions from leftwing financiers like George Soros, who could use the tactic to conceal funding to ideologically aligned groups.

In this scenario, Soros could cut a check to USCF knowing that the money will find its way into the hands of groups he supports, but avoiding a direct paper trail.

How could he be sure?

Check out the membership.

Of the twelve people who will sit on USCF’s “Council of Directors,” only two will be public officials – the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Chief of the Office of Citizenship and New Americans.

The other ten directors will be appointed by the two public officials above, and will be drawn “from national community-based organizations that promote and assist permanent residents with naturalization.”

As the criteria implies, membership on the Council will be limited to people representing groups that already fulfill that requirement.

John Fonte of the Hudson Institute provides a helpful snapshot of which groups are likely to qualify.

In Illinois, it will be outfits like the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR); a group whose integration bona fides include getting “state support for illegal immigrants’ access to in-state college tuition, preschool, and health benefits, and secured recognition for foreign-consular (matricula consular) identity cards.”

ICIRR also helped Islamic groups resist “law-enforcement examinations of suspicious Muslim charities.”

Another likely beneficiary is CASA de Maryland, a recipient of $1.5 million from Hugo Chavez from 2008 to 2010.

Both ICIRR and CASA de Maryland work closely with state and local politicians on immigrant outreach initiatives. They are also heavily involved in mobilizing voters.

Other usual suspects Fonte mentions include notable leftwing activist groups such as the Service Employees International Union, La Raza, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund.

With Directors like those on board, all that’s left is to prioritize who gets the taxpayers’ money.

The Gang of Eight bill does that too.

USCF funding goes to “qualified entities that… use matching funds from non-Federal sources, which may include in-kind contributions;” or “demonstrate collaboration with public and private entities to achieve the goals of …[integration].”

Whatever supporters say, this much is true: If the USCF provision becomes law, it will create a cycle of potential and difficult-to-uncover corruption that allows leftwing activists and their financiers to siphon off taxpayer money while using the federal government as a tax and liability shield.  

Question of the Week   
FDR issued 635 vetoes over the course of his three terms in office, more than any other President in U.S. history. Which one of the following issued the second greatest number of presidential vetoes?
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Quote of the Day   
 
"The IRS's inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner's emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency's chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed. Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an…[more]
 
 
—Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times
— Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times
 
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