A bizarre provision of the House Republicans’ short-term budget bill would strip ACORN of all federal funds even though 1) the government already withdrew all federal money from the organization and 2) the group no longer exists.
The Alliance of Community Organizations for Reform Now, an anti-poverty organization that advocated for low-income families, lost all of its federal funding after a selectively edited video released by conservative gadfly James O’Keefe appeared to show workers advising a pimp and a prostitute how to avoid the IRS. After the controversy, and the federal defunding that resulted from it, the liberal organization was disbanded in March 2010.
Independent investigations in California, Massachusetts and Brooklyn, N.Y., later cleared ACORN of any wrongdoing.
The Huffington Post:
Section 510 of the latest legislation, introduced by House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), reads: “None of the funds made available in this Act may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries or successors.”
...The federal government will shut down if a continuing resolution, or C.R., is not approved by March 27.
Rogers’ bill also explicitly bars the use of the funds it appropriates for computer networks that do not block the viewing and exchange of pornography. It further bans the transportation of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to facilities in the United States, even though the Obama administration has not transferred any detainees from Guantanamo since 2009 and has announced no plans to do so.
House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing later “clarified” to The Huffington Post that the line about ACORN was “a typical provision that is included in most appropriations bills.”
But as Steve Benen wrote on MSNBC’s The Maddow Blog: “I can say with confidence that if it’s ‘typical’ for House Republicans to write up spending bills barring funds for non-existent entities, this isn’t a positive development. Has the House Appropriations Committee also included provisions to prevent funding of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster? Because at this point, they’re about as real as ACORN.”
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.