September 24, 2010

Who put "Offensive Language" in The Small Business Act of 2010 (HR 5297)?

9-24-2010 Washington DC:

In case folks are not aware of this, the House, on 9-23-2010, passed HR-5297 Small Business Act of 2010, and the bill will soon be signed by the President and made law.

So, how did this "Offensive Language" get into HB 5297?
Source: House Report 111-506, H.Res. 1436 "(2) LOAN RECIPIENTS.—With respect to funds received by an eligible institution under the Program, any business receiving a loan from the eligible institution using such funds after the date of the enactment of this title shall certify to such eligible institution that the principals of such business have not been convicted of a sex offense against a minor (as such terms are defined in section 111 of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (42 U.S.C. 16911)). "

Lets go back to when the bill was introduced on 5-13 and referred to the House Financial Services Committee, the introduced version contained nothing about sex offenders, according to the Thomas website (Click on bill above then goto "All Congressional Actions with Amendments") these are the initial steps shown for the bill:
5/13/2010:
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services.
5/19/2010:
Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.

5/19/2010:
Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by the Yeas and Nays: 42 - 23.
5/27/2010 11:18pm:
Reported (Amended) by the Committee on Financial Services. H. Rept. 111-499.

5/27/2010 11:19pm:
Placed on the Union Calendar, Calendar No. 283.

6/14/2010 7:34pm:
Rules Committee Resolution H. Res. 1436 Reported to House. Rule provides for consideration of H.R. 5486 and H.R. 5297 with 1 hour of general debate. Previous question shall be considered as ordered without intervening motions except motion to recommit with or without instructions. Measure will be considered read. Specified amendments are in order. All points of order against consideration of each bill except for clauses 9 and 10 or rule XXI are waived.

6/15/2010 3:35pm:
Rule H. Res. 1436 passed House.

Notice that the Financial Services committee did amend the bill, but if you review the Report they provided (111-499) there is nothing about sex offenders. The bill then went to the House Rules Committee.

Now, any lawmaker may submit proposed changes to the Rules Committee, and several lawmakers did exactly that, on the Rules Committee website they have a list of which lawmakers submitted changes and what those changes were. See Rules Committee website here (Should this be removed from the Rules Committee website, I have saved it on a Word Doc). Assuming those lawmakers were truthful about what they submitted, I say that because the website says "(summaries derived from information provided by sponsors)", then we still are left with, where did the offensive language come from?

The next thing to review is H.Res 1436 (Introduced by Rep. Pingree of Maine on 6-14) the text of which says nothing about sex offenders, but there is a House Report (111-506) resulting from this H.Res., thats where we first find offensive language covering certain sex offenders.

Reviewing the House Report 111-506, we find this:
Ms. PINGREE, from the Committee on Rules, submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H. Res. 1436]

The Committee on Rules, having had under consideration House Resolution 1436, by a non-record vote, report the same to the House with the recommendation that the resolution be adopted.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF THE RESOLUTION

Then comes a LONG READ ...... and buried deep is the following:

Page 23, after line 13, insert the following new subsections:

(c) Required Certifications-
(1) ELIGIBLE INSTITUTION CERTIFICATION- Each eligible institution that participate in the Program must certify that such institution is in compliance with the requirements of section 103.121 of title 31, Code of Federal Regulations, a regulation that, at a minimum, requires financial institutions, as that term is defined in 31 U.S.C. 5312(a)(2) and (c)(1)(A), to implement reasonable procedures to verify the identity of any person seeking to open an account, to the extent reasonable and practicable, maintain records of the information used to verify the person's identity, and determine whether the person appears on any lists of known or suspected terrorists or terrorist organizations provided to the financial institution by any government agency.

(2) LOAN RECIPIENTS- With respect to funds received by an eligible institution under the Program, any business receiving a loan from the eligible institution using such funds after the date of the enactment of this title shall certify to such eligible institution that the principals of such business have not been convicted of a sex offense against a minor (as such terms are defined in section 111 of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (42 U.S.C. 16911)).
(d) Prohibition on Pornography- None of the funds made available under this title may be used to pay the salary of any individual engaged in activities related to the Program who has been officially disciplined for violations of subpart G of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch for viewing, downloading, or exchanging pornography, including child pornography, on a Federal Government computer or while performing official Federal Government duties.
Immediately it looks like Rep. Pingree did this, but the text of her H.Res. 1436 does not contain one word about sex offenders.

Accordingly, the only plausible answer is, somewhere within the House Rules Committee Staff is someone who has the ability to change the language of the bills presented to them, and without Committee Member's knowledge. I say that because a few of my readers have called the Rules Committee and have been told "they know nothing about that language."

I wonder who is responsible for preparing House Reports for the Rules Committee, and where they get their input from? And especially, who told them to insert the "Offensive Language."

Thats all folks, have a great day and a better tomorrow.
eAdvocate

Afterthoughts: Hopefully there is someone who has a better understanding of the inner-workings of the House Rules Committee that could explain, how this happened, if not then Congress needs to review that Committee's procedures because there is skullduggery going on. Just so folks know, I have found that this HAS OCCURRED on another bill as well, but that will be another commentary.

If this ever gets to court it will take a proper Plaintiff, one who has tried to get a loan and was denied, because until that happens no one is actually denied anything. And it may take several folks to get it up to a class action. These are issues for lawyers. ACLU Where are You?

3 comments:

  1. This is just one of three bills that contained similar language. Those three were the unemployment extension bill, the FHA reform bill, and this one, the small business loans bill. Note that also the Second Chance Act signed by G.W. Bush also contained language that specifically excludes sex offenders.

    Indeed, where is the ACLU. Their voice has been strangely and quite noticeably silent on SO issues.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Who is going to admit that they put the language in? Not only that, but the committee denied even knowing the language was there.

    COME ON!! The bill is read before it gets voted on. How could they NOT KNOW!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I will be willing to apply for the loan and probably will. I am part of the lawsuit against Nebraska for LB285 and just started my own company doing consulting work. The company is officially "owned" by a Native American at 51% and I am 49% stakeholder even though I do all the work with the help of one other person who is trying to help me out and is also part of the lawsuit against Nebraska. Please contact Stu Dornan to get in touch with me (John Doe 23) in Lincoln, NE

    ReplyDelete

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