On behalf of our activist community, I urge you to contact your representative and ask him or her to vote in the manner prescribed for each amendment below to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, H.R. 6395, should these amendments be allowed votes. FreedomWorks may count the votes on the amendments for purposes of our 2020 Congressional Scorecard and, as is always the case, reserves the right to score any other amendments not listed below that are brought to the floor for votes, as well as related procedural or other votes.
YES – #84: Introduced by Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), this amendment seeks to bring much-needed transparency and accountability to the use and distribution of Overseas Contingency Operation (OCO) funds. Requiring the Department of Defense (DOD) to present Congress with a report on programs utilizing this funding, along with the planned movement of funds, is essential to informed appropriations. Sometimes referred to as the “Pentagon’s slush fund,” requiring the Secretary of Defense to account for his expenditures should be a common-sense reform.
NO – #221: Introduced by Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), this amendment would extend the student loan deferrals passed as part of the CARES Act through September 2021 and include private lending institutions. This amendment doesn’t appear to be germane to the underlying bill. Even if the amendment is germane, students who took out loans entered into a binding agreement with the lending institution. Most financial institutions are providing deferrals of payments on loans because of the economic disruptions caused by COVID-19. Certainly, these are tough times, but we question the wisdom of interfering in private contracts between a lender and a borrower that could have the consequence of increasing borrowing costs across the board.
YES – #237: Introduced by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), this amendment would require all federal agencies to provide a complete accounting of programs to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The amendment further directs OMB to aggregate this information and publish online a complete inventory of federal programs. Requiring agencies to provide a complete and transparent accounting of all their programs is essential to bringing fiscal sense back to our government.
NO – #499: Introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), this amendment resembles the Corporate Transparency Act, which FreedomWorks strongly opposed. The amendment is a mass of financial services regulation with civil and criminal penalties masked as anti-money laundering legislation. Beyond simply providing support for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), this amendment also includes a poison pill provision to create a new federal definition for a “beneficial owner,” regardless of the fact that one already exists. Additionally, it creates a federal database of beneficial owners, which is concerning for potential abuse.
For the Left, this amendment is an end-run around Citizens United. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) has pushed for Congress to require the disclosure of beneficial ownership information, making the connection to “dark money” and donor disclosure. Section 4111 of House Democrats’ so-called “For the People Act,” H.R. 1, included language similar to Crapo-Brown. One of the main drivers of beneficial ownership legislation is the FACT Coalition, which is an organization comprised of many leftist groups, including the AFL-CIO, Citizens for Tax Justice, Fair Share, Friends of the Earth, and Public Citizen. In May 2019, a representative of the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency (FACT) Coalition told the Washington Post: “Every official member of our coalition agrees that this information should ultimately be made public.”
FreedomWorks may count the votes for these amendments to H.R. 6395 on our 2020 Congressional Scorecard and reserves the right to score any additional amendments, motions, or other related votes. We also reserve the right to weight any votes. The scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes members of the House and Senate who consistently vote to support economic freedom and individual liberty.
Adam Brandon President, FreedomWorks
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