What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : America's Poor : (H.R.3221) The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 - - on a motion to send the bill back to committee to add language prohibiting any of its funds being awarded to ACORN, a nation-wide association of community organizations focused on housing and voter registration (2009 house Roll Call 718)
 Who: All Members : New York, District 2 : King, Pete
[POW!]
 
(H.R.3221) The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009 - - on a motion to send the bill back to committee to add language prohibiting any of its funds being awarded to ACORN, a nation-wide association of community organizations focused on housing and voter registration
house Roll Call 718     Sep 17, 2009
Member's Vote
(progressive
or not)
Progressive Position
Progressive Result
(win or loss)

H.R. 3221 amended the Higher Education Act of 1965. Among many other things, the Higher Education Act of 1965 had previously provided federal grants to ACORN, a nation-wide community organization that focuses on housing and voter registration. It had been very active in registering minority voters during the 2008 presidential campaign. ACORN had become an increasingly controversial organization, with Republicans and conservatives, in particular, arguing that it had engaged in numerous improper practices. Immediately before the consideration of H.R. 3221, it was widely reported in the press that some of the representatives of ACORN gave advice about methods for circumventing eligibility requirements of federal housing programs.

This was a vote on a motion made by Rep. Issa (R-CA) to send H.R. 3221 back to committee, with instructions to add language prohibiting any funds from it being awarded to ACORN. Rep. Issa argued that ACORN “is an organization with a long history of criminal indictments and activities . . . .” He claimed that it engaged in child trafficking, prostitution, and “many other criminal activities, including voter fraud.” Issa noted that the Census Bureau, which had been using the organization, had ended its funding of ACORN “to ensure the integrity of their operations.” Issa cited the recent reports about what he termed “ACORN employees' alleged complicity in illegal schemes” and said: “(T)o continue funding this organization would . . . be an outrage.”

Issa concluded his remarks by saying: “(A)n analysis of federal data shows that ACORN has received more than $53 million in direct funding from the Federal Government since 1994, and has likely received substantially more indirectly through states and localities that receive federal block grants. To fully protect taxpayers, we must enact a comprehensive ban on federal funding for this (organization) . . . . “

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), who was leading the effort on behalf of H.R. 3221, said he supported the motion. There were no statements made in opposition.

The vote was 345-75. One hundred and seventy-three Republicans and one hundred and seventy-two Democrats voted “aye”. All seventy-five “nay” votes were cast by Democrats, including many of the House Members identified as being the most progressive.  As a result, language was added to the bill amending the Higher Education Act, which prohibited any funds it authorized from being awarded to ACORN.

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Key: Y=Yea, N=Nay, W=Win, L=Loss