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Americans will serve (H.R.1388) – now before the Senate

21 March, 2009

On 19 March, I asked this question?

Who is talking about the card check bill or the H.R. 1388 to “reauthorize and reform the national service laws” which was proposed by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy on 3/9/2009 and passed by the House on 18 March 2009 after a day of new amendments suggested and voted on?   [thomas.gov]

Today, I have read that the bill was referred to the Senate the day after it was passed by the House.

Sorry.  23 March   (thomas.gov does not store the data; you must do your own search)

Does this not raise suspicion?  While we hear of the “outrage” of the people who brought us the bonus scandal, the same people are rushing to pass the GIVE Act (you give, they take):  national service.  Senator Reid asked that the Senate proceed to act on this bill and then immediately asked for a cloture motion.

Cloture
The cloture rule–Rule 22–is the only formal procedure that Senate rules provide for breaking a filibuster. A filibuster is an attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter. Under cloture, the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours of debate.

This bill has been rushed through the House, sent immediately to the Senate floor and then the cloture rule is immediately invoked to prevent filibuster before the Senate has even begun to discuss this bill.  Why?  Why is the Democratic Party so intent on passing this bill RIGHT NOW?  Didn’t they make a big enough blunder passing the Recovery Act like this?  Haven’t they learned?  Or maybe they have; maybe this was all planned before the new administration moved in:  ram the legislation we want down the throat of the  people before we even know what is happening.   (They are doing the same thing with the Card Check Bill.)

Note that Senator Reid is also asking that mandatory quorum be waived.

Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the cloture vote occur on Monday, March 23 at 6 p.m.; and that if cloture is invoked, then postcloture time count as if cloture had been invoked at 3 p.m. that day; further, that the mandatory quorum be waived.

Here are some passages from the bill that raise my suspicions.

Section 1101:  Purposes

`(9) recognize and increase the impact of social entrepreneurs and other nonprofit community organizations in addressing national and local challenges;
`(10) increase public and private investment in nonprofit community organizations that are effectively addressing national and local challenges and to encourage such organizations to replicate and expand successful initiatives;

Section 1102: Definitions

`(12) COMMUNITY-BASED ENTITY- The term `community-based entity’ means a public or private nonprofit entity that–

`(A) has experience with meeting unmet human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs; and

`(B) meets other such criteria as the Chief Executive Officer may establish.

I always think Acorn when I read community or community-based organizations (color me paranoid – especially when the CEO may establish his/her own criteria.

quotes  from PART I–PROGRAMS FOR ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY STUDENTS …School-based service learning programs…(A) providing professional developement for teachers, supervisors, personnel from community-based agencies (particularly with regard to the recruitment, utilization, and management of participants), and trainers, to be conducted by qualified individuals or organizations that have experience with service…(B) developing service-learning curricula…`(E) establishing effective outreach and dissemination of information to ensure the broadest possible involvement of community-based agencies with demonstrated effectiveness in working with school-age youth in their communities…

There are sections that seem odd to me, but which I haven’t fully dissected – for example: SEC. 1304. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.  I am not sure why some of these activities should be prohibited:    There is no link here either; you must do your own search.

SEC. 1304. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.

    Section 125 (42 U.S.C. 12575) is amended to read as follows:

`SEC. 125. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.

A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not engage in the following activities:

(1) Attempting to influence legislation.
(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.
(3) Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing.
(4) Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements.
(5) Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office.
(6) Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials.
(7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of religious proselytization.
(8) Providing a direct benefit to–
(A) a business organized for profit;
(B) a labor organization;
(C) a partisan political organization;
(D) a nonprofit organization that fails to comply with the restrictions contained in section 501(c)(3) of the       Internal Revenue Code of 1986 except that nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent participants from engaging in advocacy activities undertaken at their own initiative; and
(E) an organization engaged in the religious activities described in paragraph (7), unless Corporation assistance is not used to support those religious activities.
(9) Conducting a voter registration drive or using Corporation funds to conduct a voter registration drive.
(10) Such other activities as the Corporation may prohibit.

The bill is long and requires a lot of focus.  I am concerned that no one with the appropriate background is paying attention to it.   If you understand and are posting about it please let me know or if you understand and need a place to post also let me know.


What I do understand is that there will be pressure for adult volunteers, but students from elementary school through high school will be REQUIRED to participate in curriculum that emphasizes community service and community organization.  Twelve years of indoctrination by our government on how we should serve our community and our country.  I admire people who volunteer to assist programs in their communities, but I am not happy with the idea of the “Corporation” as it is called in the bill providing curricula and teacher-training.  A national service corp of people with a minimum of twelve “training” worries me.  How about you?  Are you worried yet?

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Curtis permalink
    23 March, 2009 21:15

    I’ve been keeping my eye on this for the past few days, and what I see does worry me, especially how unconstitutional this piece of legislation is. It is my hope that the Senate will not allow this bill to be passed, but deep down I know they are already planning on passing it. My concern right now is for the future of this country, more so then anything else.

    • 23 March, 2009 21:15

      Keep a close eye on today’s proceedings in the Senate. It will pass, but what will it say?

  2. Jenny Beaman permalink
    23 March, 2009 21:15

    Thank you for the information. But have you read about the amendments? Amendment number 12 says the following. “Amendment to prohibit organizations from attempting to influence legislation; organize or engage in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes; and assist, promote, or deter union organiziing.” Put forward by Rep. Miller (D-CA) H.Amdt.49 Proposed: Mar 18,2009. Accepted: Mar18,2009 I found this on govtrack.us. Look under the navigation section under amendments. My hair is on fire! They are taking our right to assemble!I was not sure if saw or heard about this so I am sending you this. Thanks for your hard work.
    Gravely Concerned,
    Mrs. Jenny Beaman

    • 23 March, 2009 21:15

      Yes, I did read the amendments and included many of them exceptions in my post. The Senate is today supposed to be acting on this measure. It is scary and we all should be aware of what is the long-term plan.

  3. 23 March, 2009 21:15

    The following is an excerpt of what we have written on our site:

    Sen. Edward Kennedy [D-MA] introduced a new bill, S.277 – The Serve America Act – A Bill to Boost to Nonprofits and Their Volunteers, on January 16, 2009 to amend the National and Community Service Act of 1990. The new bill, The Serve America Act (S.277) is intended to support and promote volunteerism. The Serve America Act proposes to help encourage volunteerism through programs, incentives, awareness, grant funding to nonprofits, and new long-term studies and partnerships to further education, health, and other social service nonprofits. (Source: Women in Business.)

    Now S277 is coalescing with HR1388, the GIVE Act. (SEE Federal Observer: S277 for pdf file of S277.) On the S277, everything up to pg161 is deleted. Compare (Sec. 1504) of HR1388 Requires, to the extent practicable, that at least 50% of the participants in the NCCC summer program are from economically and ethnically diverse backgrounds, including youth who are in foster care. with S277. In S277, the term “disadvantaged youth” includes those youth who are economically disadvantaged and 1 or more of the following: (A) Who are out-of-school youth, including out-of-school youth who are unemployed. (B) Who are in or aging out of foster care. (C) Who have limited English proficiency.(D) Who are homeless or who have runaway from home.(E)Who are at-risk to leave secondary school without a diploma(F)Who are former juvenile offenders or at risk of delinquency(G) Who are individuals with a disability Page 197 of S277 lists the “Special Considerations” for all the minorities. Page 198 states that community projects be administered by “community based organizations (entities)” — tailor-made for ACORN as the term replaces “local community representatives.” In S277, there are provisions to create a Corporation — the same as HR1388.

    S277 envisions a National Service Corps with an Education Corps, Healthy Futures Corps, Clean Energy Service Corps, Veteran Corps, Opportunity Corps and National Senior Service Corps. These are noble liberal causes in the image of the Peace Corps. However, what we see is a small portion of the HR1388 that is more sinister. HR1388 has the provisions for a FEMA Scheme that already has construction taking place on four of six military bases with the stated reason to provide disaster relief under FEMA. Page 258 of the S277 has “Disaster Service” listed, but it is more generalized aid in the nature of the Red Cross. What HR1388 creates is something akin to a disaster relief force — something that has traditionally been in the hands of the states’ National Guard units that are called up in times of disaster or emergency relief. Like the HR1388, the S277 envisions a National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). However, the HR1388 goes one step further and proposes a National Volunteer Reserve Corps — a permanent unit with recurring drills specified in the HR1388 outline. A member of the National Service Reserve Corps is one who has completed a term of national service, fulfilled training, and will respond to national disasters and other emergencies. These individuals will be listed in a national database for the ease of immediate deployment in case of emergency. This sounds very much like a military unit.

    But then we find that S277 is also trying to make this sound harmless by changing “camp” to “campus.” On page 315, it strikes out the references to “camp” and substitutes “campuses”. But don’t be deluded. S277 (pg 325) states, “CORPS CAMPUS. — The term ‘Corps campus’ means the facility or central location established as the operational headquarters and boarding place for particular Corps units.” If that isn’t the definition for a base/camp in the military sense, someone needs to enlighten me. It is NOT a “campus” with college preppies walking around. To make it even more sinister, one needs to ask why the “authorizing committees, the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate” has to be added (pg 327).

    What we view as sinister is that this is a move to replace the state “militia” — or National Guard — with a Civilian Security Defense Force entitled the National Service Reserve Corps. This is NOT in the image of the Peace Corps, but a permanent organization operated year-round in the image of an Army Corps. The HR1388 mandates that all “volunteers” have CPR training — so this is the education requirement. But this is also the basic requirement for a soldier. We believe this is the first step in a direct ursurption of the States right to maintain an armed militia as guaranteed by the Constitution. This is why we think this is sinister.

    We have a question about your items versus what was posted on OpenCongress.

    What we show as an House Amendment 49 (1 of 12 amendments to HR1388) is “H.Amdt49 Pass Amendment to prohibit organizations from attempting to influence legislation; organize or engage in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes; and assist, promote, or deter union organizing”. However, you show this as being part of Section 1304 which is deleted on the OpenCongress posting of HR1388.

    We attempted to bring up your sources and they don’t work. Can you please email us as to the disparity. Is your information the latest?

    • 23 March, 2009 21:15

      Thank you for your question. I have updated the original link and added one for the specific prohibited actions/organizations list.

  4. 25 March, 2009 21:15

    I have heard that Mikulski has added an amendment to the Senate bill weakening the Foxx Amendment to the House bill, which prohibited federal funds going to organizations that engaged in political activities. According to my sources, the Mikulski Amendment just says that federal funds can’t be used for political activities. In other words, nonprofits can still engage in political activities — they just can’t use the fed funds. Which, of course, is a cop out, since money is fungible. Any info on this?

    • 25 March, 2009 21:15

      this is the change introduced by Mikulski as an amendment to 1388:
      (45) QUALIFIED ORGANIZATION.—The term ‘qualified organization’ means a public or private nonprofit organization with experience working with school-age youth that meets such criteria as the Chief Executive Officer may establish.

      SEC. 1310. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.
      Subtitle C of title I (42 U.S.C. 12571 et seq.) is amended by inserting after section 132 the following:
      ‘‘SEC. 132A. PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES AND INELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS.
      ‘‘(a) PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.—An approved national service position under this subtitle may not be used for the following activities:
      ‘‘(1) Attempting to influence legislation.
      ‘‘(2) Organizing or engaging in protests, petitions, boycotts, or strikes.
      ‘‘(3) Assisting, promoting, or deterring union organizing.
      ‘‘(4) Impairing existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreements.
      ‘‘(5) Engaging in partisan political activities, or other activities designed to influence the outcome of an election to Federal office or the outcome of an election to a State or local public office.
      ‘‘(6) Participating in, or endorsing, events or activities that are likely to include advocacy for or against political parties, political platforms, political candidates, proposed legislation, or elected officials.
      ‘‘(7) Engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, maintaining facilities primarily or inherently devoted to religious instruction or worship, or engaging in any form of proselytization, consistent with section 132.
      ‘‘(8) Consistent with section 132, providing a direct benefit to any—
      ‘‘(A) business organized for profit;
      ‘‘(B) labor union;
      ‘‘(C) partisan political organization;
      ‘‘(D) nonprofit organization that fails to comply with the restrictions contained in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, except that nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to prevent participants from engaging in advocacy activities undertaken at their own initiative; and
      ‘‘(E) organization engaged in the religious activities described in paragraph (7), unless the position is not used to support those religious activities.
      ‘‘(9) Providing abortion services or referrals for receipt of such services.
      ‘‘(10) Conducting a voter registration drive or using Corporation funds to conduct a voter registration drive.
      ‘‘(11) Carrying out such other activities as the Corporation may prohibit.
      ‘‘(b) INELIGIBILITY.—No assistance provided under this subtitle may be provided to any organization that has violated a Federal criminal statute.
      ‘‘(c) NONDISPLACEMENT OF EMPLOYED WORKERS OR OTHER VOLUNTEERS.—A participant in an approved national service position under this subtitle may not be directed to perform any services or duties, or to engage in any activities, prohibited under the nonduplication, nondisplacement, or nonsupplantation requirements relating to employees and volunteers in section 177.’’.

      Is this what your source was telling you?

  5. Don Ryan permalink
    26 March, 2009 21:15

    No more conversation…JUST SAY NO!

    • 26 March, 2009 21:15

      A few senators are saying no, but the Democrats will pass it because they all want it. Reid wants it voted on tonight or tomorrow morning.

  6. Bill McWhirter permalink
    26 March, 2009 21:15

    I wish the President and ALL would keep their word and put these bills out XX number of days before they are to be voted on. As it is now we the people have no opportunity read, review, or comment on before it gets to the House or Senate.

    As we all know the old saying “A man is only as good as his/her word and if his word is no good then he is not worth a damn” as I remember there were a lot of people who promised to get such a thing in operation ASAP.

    If it is in operation please let me know where I can find it.

    • 26 March, 2009 21:15

      To the best of my knowledge there is nothing to stop these bills from being pushed through Congress. You can listen to the proceedings on C-span or read the Congressional Record after the fact. The opinion of citizens of the U.S. apparently do not matter to this administration. Get your family, friends and acquaintances to flood the House and Senate with email, snail mail, and phone calls. There are people doing this.

      If there is an organization and someone reads this comment, please tell us.

  7. 26 March, 2009 21:15

    Vitter tried to get an amendment in the Senate similar to the Foxx Amendment in the House, but it was voted down. That means the Senate will likely pass the Mikulski Amendment, which is really a substitute bill which guts the Foxx Amendment. Once that passes, the Senate and House versions will have to go to conference, where the Dems will adopt the Senate version. Then, back to the two Houses for a final vote. Could be done by the end of the weekend.

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