It is Time to Restore the American People’s Faith in Governmentby Representative Virginia Foxx
Posted on 2015-12-07
FOXX. Mr. Speaker, when a married couple killed 14 people
celebrating the holidays in San Bernardino last Thursday, President
Obama immediately used this terrible tragedy to renew his call for
tougher gun restrictions.
Never mind the fact that the shooting took place in California, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the Nation, or that authorities would quickly determine this rampage was an act of terrorism that appears to have been inspired by the Islamic State.
This messaging blunder led to last night's televised address from the Oval Office where President Obama sought to reassure the American people that his administration is taking the threat of terrorism seriously. Sadly, the only thing he revealed was he has no comprehensive strategy to confront and defeat ISIS. The President continues to cling to failing policy.
This week the House will vote on a bipartisan bill to update our visa waiver program to reduce the risk of an extremist entering the country from abroad. However, only the Commander in Chief can provide the wide- ranging plan that is necessary to eliminate the danger caused by radical Islamist terrorism.
We need more from President Obama about what can be done with our military, our intelligence-gathering, and our international partners. We are facing a new era of violence and terrorism where danger exists both abroad and on American soil. We must do all that we can to eliminate the extremist threat.
It is easy to see why the American people have no faith in the Federal Government. While the United States remains one step behind our enemy and Americans wonder if our country is safe, the Justice Department is undermining Congress' spending authority by funneling money to President Obama's political allies.
The Justice Department prosecutes cases against corporate bad actors, and those companies agree to settlements that often include financial penalties. However, the Department has begun to mandate that at least some of that penalty money be paid in the form of donations to nonprofits that allegedly aid consumers and bolster neighborhoods.
The purpose of financial penalties is to punish the bad actors and provide restitution to real victims. However, the list of government- approved nonprofit beneficiaries reads like a who's who of liberal activist groups. An investigation by the House Judiciary and Financial Services Committees revealed that DOJ has used mandatory donations to direct as much as half a billion dollars to these activist groups.
These payments also occur entirely outside of the congressional appropriations and oversight process. The Miscellaneous Receipts Act requires money received by the government from any source to be deposited in the Treasury. Directing banks to give money to third parties evades that statute.
Thank goodness the House passed an amendment by Chairman Goodlatte in June that blocks funding for negotiating settlements that require a defendant to donate to an organization or an individual not involved in the litigation. This commonsense amendment passed by voice vote and should absolutely be included in the omnibus spending bill we are expected to vote on this week.
It is time for Republicans to confront this administration and restore the people's faith in their government.