Kathleen Sebelius admits that stimulus money was used for lobbying
The Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative was a program which was created in the stimulus bill with the goal of helping to fight Michell Obama’s pet cause–obesity–and in setting up this initiative it was awarded $230 million in stimulus money.
CPPW–and another initiative created in the stimulus bill, the Community Transformation Grants–have taken some of that stimulus money and spent in on lobbying for their cause. In essence we have a government initiative taking government (taxpayer) money and using a portion of that money to lobby the government for more money.
The Health and Human Services Secretary–Kathleen Sebelius–testified in front of a congressional subcommittee that this was indeed happening, and that she was aware it was happening all along. She also defended this action by stating that the lobbying was taking place at the local level and not at the federal level, which she claims makes this action legal.
While defending this position she also made it clear that it would not happen in the future, which leads me to ask the question; if there is really nothing wrong with the government handing out money so the government could be lobbied why is the government going to change the rules to stop this from happening in the future?
Clearly Kathleen Sebelius knows this was wrong but now that the government has been caught the Obama regime is looking to stop the practice. Would this be the case if the government wasn’t caught funding lobbyists? I doubt it.
At least two Republican Representatives aren’t buying her explanation that the lobbying was legal because it was conducted at the local level. Reps. Ed Whitfield and Brett Guthrie have sent the HHS Secretary a letter stating that using taxpayer dollars for lobbying is illegal regardless of what level of government the lobbying taxes place:
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
This seems pretty cut and dry to me: the government created these two initiatives and funded them using stimulus money, and some of that stimulus money was used to lobby the government for more money in violation of the law as stated above.
Barack Obama once promised to end the influence of lobbyists if he were elected, but now he is funding it.