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H.R. 1388 passed by the Senate – 26 March 2009 — Serve America

26 March, 2009

Interestingly enough an important amendment brought to the floor today was not in the H.R. 1388 when it passed the Senate today.

The first presented by Sen Vitter (LA) wanted to insure that no money be made available to ACORN and its affiliates, on the grounds that it is a  organization with possibly suspect behaviour and that including it in the bill would not be able to politicize charitable giving and activities.  Saying that the bill doesn’t allow politicized does not necessarily protect the country from ACORN’s “so-called” charitable activities.  ACORN has  already received considerable funding from the government, for instance $800 thousand from Fannie Mae from 2002-04.

Senator Mikulski vehemently opposed the amendment on the grounds that ACORN was not ever convicted.  It is also important that ACORN serves 110 communities in the U.S.  Well, what about ACORN trying to register Mickey Mouse, or the documented registration of people several times, 3 workers in Kansas City convicted,  or the 1700 registrations that were revoked. This bill does not offer relief from this behaviour.

Mikulski’s opposition verged on emotional compared to the rebukes I have heard from her in previous proceedings.  Following  is a paraphrase of some of her remarks.

She objects to singling out ACORN in the bill and she repeated it several times.  She never addressed the possibility of public concern about their behaviour this past year. And, in fact, at one point while talking about an indictment said “false indictment;”  she quickly recovered an said indictment – but I heard her.

Mikulski objected because there was a prohibition against any charity co-locating  (renting space in same building)  but like so many things she objected to this week, it could have been edited out.   She even make a nasty remarks about the insignificant rebuttal that Vitter left.  (What a laugh, they all leave the floor or don’t even come until it’s time to vote.)

Wrong,”  “irrational,” “punitive,”  “harsh are some of the words she used about Vitter’s amendment. “ACORN does weatherization, ACORN volunteers went to “New Orleans,LA to rehabilitate 3500 homes.  ACORN has not received AmericCorp funds in a decade. (emphasis mine) Does that mean they won’t in the future?  If ACORN does participate in AmeriCorp she said, it would not be able to use Americorp volunteers for political activity.    Where was she during the election?  Never mind, I know but I am too polite to say it.

Furthmore Mikulski added, if Acorn were ever convicted of a Federal crime, they would be come ineligible to participate in AmeriCorp.  Well, that is what Vitter was talking about – there is a possibility they could participate.  As for an indictment, they probably get very good lawyers and very good advise.

And then she went back to listing all the co-locating, listing all the fine charities that would be unable to get money because they co-located with ACORN.  Again, I say, take that clause out.


But it is too late.  The bills passed. And some of us lost.  Were you one of them?


You can listen to Vittner and Mikulski online here


Here is the text of  Vitter’s amendment:

“(c) Ineligible Organizations.–

“(1) IN GENERAL.–No assistance provided under this subtitle may be provided (including for the participation under this subtitle of a participant in an approved national service position in activities conducted by such an organization) to–

“(A) an organization described in paragraph (2); or

“(B) to an organization that is co-located on the same premises as an organization described in paragraph (2).

“(2) ORGANIZATIONS.–An organization referred to in paragraph (1) means–

“(A) the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); or

“(B) an entity that is under the control of such Association, as demonstrated by–

“(i)(I) such Association directly owning or controlling, or holding with power to vote, 25 percent or more the voting shares of such other entity;

“(II) such other entity directly owning or controlling, or holding with power to vote, 25 percent of more of the voting shares of such Association; or

“(III) a third entity directly owning or controlling, or holding with power to vote, 25 percent or more of the voting shares of such Association and such other entity;

“(ii)(I) such Association controlling, in any manner, a majority of the board of directors of such other entity;

“(II) such other entity controlling, in any manner, a majority of the board of directors of such Association; or

“(III) a third entity controlling, in any manner, a majority of the board of directors of such Association and such other entity;

“(iii) individuals serving in a similar capacity as officers, executives, or staff of both such Association and such other entity;

“(iv) such Association and such other entity sharing office space, supplies, resources, or marketing materials, including communications through the Internet and other forms of public communication; or

“(v) such Association and such other entity exhibiting another indicia of control over, control by, or common control with, such other entity or such Association, respectively, as may be set forth in regulation by the Corporation.

“(d) Nondisplacement of Employed Workers

[Senator Vitter] 705 (Tabled)

on page 128, strike line 6 and insert the following:

“(c) Ineligible Organizations.–

“(1) IN GENERAL.–No assistance provided under this subtitle may be provided (including for the participation under this subtitle of a participant in an approved national service position in activities conducted by such an organization) to–

“(A) an organization described in paragraph (2); or

“(B) to an organization that is co-located on the same premises as an organization described in paragraph (2).

“(2) ORGANIZATIONS.–An organization referred to in paragraph (1) means–

“(A) the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN); or  (emphasis mine)

“(B) an entity that is under the control of such Association, as demonstrated by–

“(i)(I) such Association directly owning or controlling, or holding with power to vote, 25 percent or more the voting shares of such other entity;

“(II) such other entity directly owning or controlling, or holding with power to vote, 25 percent of more of the voting shares of such Association; or

“(III) a third entity directly owning or controlling, or holding with power to vote, 25 percent or more of the voting shares of such Association and such other entity;

“(ii)(I) such Association controlling, in any manner, a majority of the board of directors of such other entity;

“(II) such other entity controlling, in any manner, a majority of the board of directors of such Association; or

“(III) a third entity controlling, in any manner, a majority of the board of directors of such Association and such other entity;

“(iii) individuals serving in a similar capacity as officers, executives, or staff of both such Association and such other entity;

“(iv) such Association and such other entity sharing office space, supplies, resources, or marketing materials, including communications through the Internet and other forms of public communication; or

“(v) such Association and such other entity exhibiting another indicia of control over, control by, or common control with, such other entity or such Association, respectively, as may be set forth in regulation by the Corporation.

“(d) Nondisplacement of Employed Workers


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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Sandra, CA permalink
    26 March, 2009 21:15

    Thanks for gathering all the information. I just read that it was renamed after Teddy Kennedy when it was passed.

    • 26 March, 2009 21:15

      Yes, they did it right away. Lots of emotion and applause.

  2. james permalink
    27 March, 2009 21:15

    this bill is all too similar to hitlers youth look it up

  3. james permalink
    27 March, 2009 21:15

    clench your guns tight and fight for your rights people the time for revolution is almost at hand

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