CGI Federal was the primary contractor responsible for building Healthcare.gov – the federal ObamaCare…
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Disgraced ObamaCare Contractor Now Working for the IRS

CGI Federal was the primary contractor responsible for building Healthcare.gov – the federal ObamaCare website that glitched its way into bureaucratic infamy.

In the aftermath, CGI was fired by the Department of Health and Human Services and a number of states holding similar contracts.

But like a vampire rising from the dead, CGI Federal is back in the ObamaCare game, and just in time for tax season!

That’s right, a Republican-led House subcommittee discovered that the IRS has hired CGI Federal to a $4.46 million contract. Recall that, under ObamaCare, the IRS must administer a complex income-reporting system to verify which taxpayers received too generous a subsidy.

This news was too much for the Wall Street Journal editorial page, which opined that, “Perhaps CGI…[more]

January 29, 2015 • 08:13 pm

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Press Releases
Obama AG Nominee Loretta Lynch and Operation Choke Point: Coalition Urges Senate Judiciary Committee to Ask Serious Questions Print E-mail
Tuesday, January 27 2015

On the eve of a confirmation hearing for President Obama’s Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, the Center for Individual Freedom (“CFIF”) joined with a coalition of other prominent national organizations on a letter urging Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley to ask serious questions about the position of Ms. Lynch as it relates to “Operation Choke Point.”

Under the leadership of Attorney General Eric Holder, the U.S. Department of Justice has used the controversial program to intimidate, target and even shut down legitimate businesses (like gun shops and payday lenders) disliked by the Obama Administration.  Operation Choke Point, together with the IRS targeting scandal, serves as a prime example of how an unaccountable federal government can be abused to target out-of-favor businesses and individuals, and political enemies. 

The letter, which was organized by Taxpayers Protection Alliance, reads in part:

“The confirmation process is an important tool for the Senate in gauging where potential appointees stand on some of the most important issues they will be facing. … Ms. Lynch, like most Presidential nominees, has kept mostly quiet on some of the major issues she will be answering questions about once her confirmation process begins and that includes her views on Operation Choke Point.

“We hope that you will take this opportunity during the confirmation process to pose serious questions to Ms. Lynch about her views on Operation Choke Point and whether or not she will put an end to this harmful and destructive DOJ program and what her views are when it comes to the power of the federal government to use regulations to interfere with institutions and industries an administration may not like.”

Read the letter in its entirety below.

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 January 27, 2015

The Honorable Chuck Grassley, Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510 

Dear Mr. Chairman:

As you consider the nomination and move forward with the confirmation process for Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, the undersigned groups urge you to ask serious questions about the position of Ms. Lynch as it relates to Operation Choke Point. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has used Operation Choke Point to engage in the blatant intimidation of legal businesses and the undersigned groups have concerns about the nominee’s position on the program and whether or not this program will continue to exist, if she were to be confirmed.

Attorney General Eric Holder and the DOJ have been systematically targeting businesses like payday loans, firearm and ammunition sales, and home-based charities.  It has been reported that the Administration has targeted these companies because of the administration’s distaste of what these companies do and not the legality of these businesses.

Instead of utilizing due process, the DOJ bullies banks into closing bank accounts of “high risk persons.” For example, Wisconsin gun store proprietor Mike Shuetz and his business Hawkins Guns and Heritage Credit Union were targeted under Operation Choke Point.  Audio revealed that the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) looked into Heritage Credit Union’s books and forced them to shut down Shuetz’s bank accounts. Speaking about the NCUA a Heritage Credit Union regional manager said “So they came in, looked at our books, looked at everything and said ‘here are some accounts that we feel that we’re going to regulate you on,’… so they kind of put the screws to us as far as what we could and couldn’t do.”

There have been cases where the authorities have targeted banks that don’t cooperate with federal officials.  For example, North Carolina’s Four Oaks Bank was slapped with a $1.2 million fine for processing unlicensed payday loan transactions.

These unsettling details about the program show that by threatening increased regulatory supervision, the Administration is using intimidation and threats to make it more difficult for certain industries to have access to financing for credit or loans on no basis other than distaste for the industries by the regulators concerned. This is inappropriate and represents an abuse of regulatory authority.

Members of Congress are starting to expose Operation Choke Point.  Former House Government & Oversight Chair Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released a report in December noting that, “Personal animus towards payday lending is apparent throughout the documents produced to the committee… Emails reveal that FDIC’s senior-most bank examiners ‘literally cannot stand payday,’ and effectively ordered banks to terminate all relationships with the industry.”

The confirmation process is an important tool for the Senate in gauging where potential appointees stand on some of the most important issues they will be facing. This process is also an opportunity to ensure that individuals are qualified to hold the position they’ve been selected to take. Ms. Lynch, like most Presidential nominees, has kept mostly quiet on some of the major issues she will be answering questions about once her confirmation process begins and that includes her views on Operation Choke Point.

We hope that you will take this opportunity during the confirmation process to pose serious questions to Ms. Lynch about her views on Operation Choke Point and whether or not she will put an end to this harmful and destructive DOJ program and what her views are when it comes to the power of the federal government to use regulations to interfere with institutions and industries an administration may not like.

Sincerely,

David Williams, President, Taxpayers Protection Alliance
George Landrith, President, Frontiers of Freedom
Phil Kerpen, President, American Commitment
Seton Motley, President, Less Government
Jeff Mazzella, President, Center for Individual Freedom
John Tate, President, Campaign for Liberty
Iain Murray, Vice President, Competitive Enterprise Institute
Andrew Langer, President, Institute for Liberty
Michael Ostrolenk, National Director, Liberty Coalition
Brian Wise, US Consumer Coalition 

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For sample of additional CFIF writings on Operation Choke Point, visit:

 


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