March 12 2012

Anti-Obesity Funds Used to Pay Lobbyists

Julie Gunlock

Today's must-read is from Caroline May over at the Daily Caller who has revealed that hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars, ostensibly directed at state-level anti-obesity programs, has instead been funneled to lobbyists who are pushing States to levy taxes on sugar and soda. Read May's whole piece here.

As May explains in her article, after Sebelius defended the action as allowable because the lobbying was only taking place at the local government level, two Kentucky Congressmen sent a letter explaining to her that using federal funds for lobbying (at any level of government) is illegal.  Isn't it reassuring when Cabinet-level government officials seem fuzzy on lobbying law?

While citing multiple federal laws which prohibit the use of tax dollars for lobbying, the Kentucky lawmakers specifically referenced Title 18 of the U.S. Code, Section 1913, which states:

“No part of the money appropriated by any enactment of Congress shall, in the absence of express authorization by Congress, be used directly or indirectly to pay for any personal service, advertisement, telegram, telephone, letter, printed or written matter, or other device, intended or designed to influence in any manner a Member of Congress, a jurisdiction, or an official of any government, to favor, adopt, or oppose, by vote or otherwise, any legislation, law, ratification, policy or appropriation …”

The Congressmen also pointed out that both the Office of Management and Budget and Department of Health and Human Services have guiding regulations which prohibit grants and grantees from going toward influencing government policy.  Looks like it's time Secretary Sebelius cracked open that employee handbook!

This shows yet again, how the Obama Administration operates: promote big government programs in the name of "helping children" when in reality the real goal is to increase government regulation, raise taxes, and place even more control on people's personal food decisions.

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