WASHINGTON – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) subpoenaed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) for documents relating to the ATF’s nationwide storefront sting operations yesterday evening. ATF carried out these storefront sting operations across the country, from Oregon to Florida, and utilized…
“The Hatch Act requires a clear dichotomy between the constitutional and statutory duties officials and any political or campaign-related activities in which they engage,” said Issa in the letter to Denis McDonough. The letter continues: “Unfortunately, it appears the White House has determined it is appropriate to use taxpayer money in an effort to achieve electoral success.”
“The Department of Defense reports released this morning concur with the findings of the Committee’s Staff Report released on February 11, 2014,” said Chairman Issa. “The Department and the Committee both concluded that Aaron Alexis could have been stopped and his clearance could have been pulled before the Navy Yard shooting if all information available was properly obtained and reported. Additionally, the Department recognizes that the federal security clearance process must be fixed and agrees with the Committee’s recommendations: continuous evaluation must be implemented; more data is needed for investigations to be complete, including utilizing social media and other Internet sources; and local law enforcement agencies must comply with existing federal law by providing relevant criminal history information to investigators.
“The Smart Savings Act will ensure that workers who are planning ahead for retirement are investing in an account that works for them at every stage of their career,” Chairman Issa said. “Currently, the default fund is comprised of government securities, which historically provide very low returns. The mix of offerings in an L Fund is designed to give higher returns, while decreasing risk as individuals near retirement. According to the TSP, making L Funds the default investment can help workers better prepare for retirement than investment in the G Fund over the course of their career.”
“In the wake of Ms. Lerner’s refusal to testify and answer questions, this report offers detailed evidence about steps she took to crack down on organizations that exercised their Constitutional rights to free political speech,” said Chairman Issa. “She involved herself in efforts to apply unprecedented scrutiny to new applicants, existing organizations, and to write new rules after President Obama and other prominent Democrats expressed outrage at the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Finally, the report presents evidence that Ms. Lerner misled Congress about targeting and her own conduct.”
1. In October 2010, Lerner told a Duke University group: “The Supreme Court dealt a huge blow, overturning a 100-year-old precedent that basically corporations couldn’t give directly to political campaigns. And everyone is up in arms because they don’t like it. The Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it. …
“The latest delay underscores the President’s misguided fixation on political gains over the disastrous impact ObamaCare is having on Americans. This move is a cynical ploy that delays thousands of insurance policy cancellations until after the elections, in the hopes that Americans won’t notice the spiking premiums and shrinking options they face under the President’s health care law. Nothing, however, can distract from the fact that the President blatantly broke his promise that ‘if you like your plan you can keep your plan.’”
The Committee’s investigation began in February 2012, after concerns about disparate treatment and inappropriate scrutiny of applicants for tax exempt status by the IRS were brought to the Committee’s attention.
“Transparency and accountability will go a long way to addressing this Administration’s runaway expansion of the regulatory state,” Issa said. “These reforms bring job-killing federal mandates out of the dark by giving the public ample time to see and prepare for their real costs and economic impact. The reforms of Stop Government Abuse Week are a step in the right direction toward creating an open rulemaking process and undoing the economic damage of the federal government’s excessive bureaucratic regulation. The American people deserve no less.”
“Ms. Lerner’s testimony remains critical to the Committee’s investigation,” wrote Chairman Issa. “Documents and testimony obtained by the Committee show that she played a significant role in scrutinizing applications for tax exempt status from conservative organizations. Documents also show that Ms. Lerner participated in “off plan” work to develop rules that would allow the IRS to stifle constitutionally protected political speech by non-profit groups. Ms. Lerner’s testimony will allow the Committee to better understand how and why the IRS targeted certain organizations.”