In this week's Liberty Update we highlight the potentially catastrophic threat of H.R. 3, the healthcare…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Notable Quote: WSJ on H.R. 3, Biden & Pelosi's Dangerous Healthcare Bill

In this week's Liberty Update we highlight the potentially catastrophic threat of H.R. 3, the healthcare and drug price control bill that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are attempting to rush through Congress.  The Wall Street Journal helpfully offers further insight this morning on how H.R. 3 would threaten lifesaving U.S. pharmaceutical innovation and leadership, including on things like the Covid vaccines:

Companies that refuse the government’s price must pay a 95% excise tax on all revenue they generate from that drug in the U.S.  They’d also have to offer the government price to private insurers.  There’s no “negotiation” when a gun is pointed at your head.  A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that drug spending in the U.S. would…[more]

September 23, 2021 • 10:23 AM

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
CFIF Stands With Coalition Against H.R.1/S.1 and in Support of Freedom of Speech and Association Print
By CFIF Staff
Tuesday, February 02 2021

CFIF this week joined a coalition, led by People United for Privacy, urging Congress to oppose H.R. 1 and S. 1, the deceptively named "For the People Act."

"Nonprofit organizations serve a vital role in encouraging free speech and the free exchange of ideas. Privately supporting causes — and the organizations advancing those causes — is a fundamental freedom protected by the First Amendment," reads a letter sent to to the leadership of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate and signed by respresentatives of more than 130 organizations this week.  "H.R. 1 and S. 1 would dramatically alter the First Amendment protections that Americans have enjoyed since the founding of our country. It would institute sweeping new burdens on their constitutionally protected rights to freely speak, publish, and organize into groups to advocate for the causes they support," the letter continues. 

Read the full text of the letter below or download a PDF of the letter and list of signers here.


 

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Republican Leader McCarthy, Majority Leader Schumer, and Republican Leader McConnell,

On behalf of the millions of Americans who cherish and rely on the right to support causes we believe in without fear of harassment and intimidation, we, the undersigned individuals and organizations, ask you to reject H.R. 1 and S. 1, the deceptively named “For the People Act.”

Nonprofit organizations serve a vital role in encouraging free speech and the free exchange of ideas. Privately supporting causes — and the organizations advancing those causes — is a fundamental freedom protected by the First Amendment.

Our Founding Fathers used pen names to encourage independence from Great Britain. Nearly 200 years later, the Supreme Court of the United States blocked the state of Alabama from demanding the supporter list of the NAACP, citing concerns about retribution against the group’s members and financial backers. And last month, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging a California regulation forcing charities to hand over their supporter lists to the government.

H.R. 1 and S. 1 would dramatically alter the First Amendment protections that Americans have enjoyed since the founding of our country. It would institute sweeping new burdens on their constitutionally protected rights to freely speak, publish, and organize into groups to advocate for the causes they support. In particular, H.R. 1 and S. 1 would impose onerous and unworkable regulatory standards on the ability of individual Americans and groups of Americans to discuss the policy issues of the day with elected officials and the public. This bill would also violate the privacy of advocacy groups and their supporters and stringently and excessively regulate political speech on the Internet.

More specifically, H.R. 1 and S. 1 include numerous, sweeping provisions that would violate the First Amendment rights of Americans by:

  • Subjecting citizens who contribute to nonprofit organizations to harassment and intimidation by making their personal information available in a searchable government database. This mandate focuses public attention on the individuals and donors who support causes instead of on the messages communicated by those organizations, exacerbating the politics of division and personal destruction and further coarsening political discourse. This would have a considerable chilling effect on civic engagement and free speech.

  • Policing speech by Americans about legislative issues by expanding the definition of “electioneering communications” – historically limited to large-scale TV and radio campaigns targeted to the electorate in a campaign for office – to include online advertising that bears no relation to an election. This will subject far more issue ads to burdensome disclaimer requirements, which will coerce groups into truncating their message and make some advertising, especially online, practically impossible.

  • Indiscriminately regulating groups that incidentally or occasionally advocate on federal judicial nominations and require those groups to broadly expose their donors, even if those citizens had nothing to do with the groups’ speech about judicial nominees.

  • Forcing groups to publicly identify their supporters on the face of the ads themselves. Faced with the prospect of being inaccurately associated with what the law would consider (unjustifiably, in many or most instances) “campaign” ads in FEC reports and disclaimers, many donors will choose not to give to nonprofit groups.

  • Increasing regulation of the online speech of American citizens while purporting (and failing) to address the threat of Russian propaganda.

  • Expanding the universe of regulated online political speech by Americans beyond paid advertising to include communications on groups’ or individuals’ own websites and email messages.

  • Deterring American citizens from serving their country through political appointments by forcing them to disclose their donations to causes they have supported in the past.

Our elections will not be more honest, more informed, or more secure from foreign interference if we sacrifice the privacy of American citizens. But our democracy will be weakened if voices are eliminated from public debate through intimidation and overregulation.

As a Member of Congress, you have taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. H.R. 1 and S. 1 propose multiple violations of our First Amendment rights. On behalf of the millions of American citizens our organizations represent, we strongly urge you to oppose H.R. 1 and S. 1.

Sincerely,

Quiz Question   
What is the single deadliest disease epidemic to the U.S. population in history?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"According to the left-of-center Tax Policy Center, Biden's tax plan will raise taxes on 75% of middle-class families next year and 95% of families over the long term. Biden's policies are already slowing the economy. In August, the U.S. added just 235,000 jobs, a far cry from estimates that 720,000 jobs would be created. The economy has over 600,000 fewer jobs than the Biden administration boasted…[more]
 
 
—Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform
— Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform
 
Liberty Poll   

Pres. Biden is seeking IRS authority to monitor every American financial transaction exceeding $600. Is there any legitimate government reason you can think of for such micro-monitoring of individual financial transactions?