Advancing a proposal that Congress defund the American Lung Association (ALA), Jim Hoft is claiming that the Environmental Protection Agency is paying the ALA to attack Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). In fact, the money given by the EPA to the ALA cannot legally be used for lobbying purposes, and that money represents a small fraction of the total revenue the organization receives.
Hoft Claims American Lung Association Is Being Paid By EPA To Attack Rep. Upton
Hoft: "The EPA Is Now Paying The American Lung Association To Attack Republicans." In a March 23 post on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website titled, "EPA Is Now Using Taxpayer Dollars to Pay Lung Association to Attack Republicans," Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft highlighted an American Lung Association lobbying campaign targeted at Upton:
Your tax dollars at work...
The EPA is now paying the American Lung Association to attack Republicans
The ALA put up four billboards like this one near Rep. Fred Upton's office in Michigan. Upton is the House Energy and Commerce Chairman. (PlowShareGroup)
The Environmental Protection Agency is paying the American Lung Association to run attack ads against Republican members of Congress.
"The American Lung Association has targeted House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton for his efforts to stop U.S. EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions by placing billboards within sight of his district offices linking climate change with increased childhood asthma," reports E&E News PM.
But as we reported last week in "EPA owns the American Lung Association," the EPA has paid the American Lung Association over $20 million in the last ten years, and has paid the ALA many more millions in a symbiotic relationship going back to at least 1990.
The EPA-ALA relationship works something like this: EPA pays the ALA and, in return, the ALA agitates for more stringent EPA air quality regulation, including by lawsuit. Now it's billboards.
In addition to defunding National Public Radio, the House GOP should look at the EPA's funding of American Lung Association. [Big Government, 3/23/11; emphasis original]
ALA: Rep. Upton's Bill Will "Rollback Clean Air Act" Provisions That "Protect Health And The Environment"
ALA: Rep. Upton's Legislation Will "Rollback Clean Air Act" Provisions "Taken To Protect Health And The Environment." In a letter to Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, Charles D. Connor and Barry Gottschalk of the American Lung Association wrote:
Specifically we oppose your legislation, H.R. 910 the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which will rollback Clean Air Act protections that are in place to address the health impacts of carbon dioxide pollution and other greenhouse gas pollution, including protections upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The bill blocks EPA, California, and other states from setting automobile greenhouse gas pollution standards. The bill would repeal at least eleven final actions taken to protect health and the environment under the Clean Air Act.
We are also deeply disappointed by your votes for amendments to H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 that would block implementation of the Clean Air Act and its lifesaving protections. These amendments would prevent EPA from updating and enforcing standards for the cleanup of toxic mercury, soot, carbon dioxide and other air pollutants. These provisions, if enacted into law, would result in millions of Americans -- including children, seniors, and people with chronic disease such as asthma -- being forced to breathe air that is unhealthy. Breathing air pollution can cause asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, cancer and shorten lives. [American Lung Association Letter, 3/15/11]
Nonprofit Recipients Of EPA Grants Are Prohibited From Using Any Portion Of Federal Funds To Lobby
EPA: "Recipients Of Federal Grants" Are Prohibited From Using Federal Funds To Lobby Members Of Congress. From the EPA's website:
Lobbying (Anti-Lobbying) (40 CFR Part 34) Recipients of Federal grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and loans are prohibited by 31 USC 1352, "Limitation on Use of Appropriated Funds to Influence Certain Federal Contracting and Financial Transactions," from using Federal (appropriated) funds to pay any person for influencing or attempting to influence any officer or employee of an agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress with respect to the award, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any of these instruments. These requirements are implemented for EPA in 40 CFR Part 34, which also describes types of activities, such as legislative liaison activities and professional and technical services, which are not subject to this prohibition.
Applicants for EPA awards with total costs expected to exceed $100,000 are required to certify that (1) they have not made, and will not make, such a prohibited payment, (2) they will be responsible for reporting the use of non-appropriated funds for such purposes, and (3) they will include these requirements in consortium agreements and contracts under grants that will exceed $100,000 and obtain necessary certifications from those consortium participants and contractors. The signature of the authorized organizational official on the application serves as the required certification of compliance for the applicant organization. EPA appropriated funds may not be used to pay the salary or expenses of an employee of a grantee, consortium participant, or contractor or those of an agent related to any activity designed to influence legislation or appropriations pending before Congress or any State legislature. [EPA.gov, 1/19/10]
Federal Regulations Prohibit Expending Federal Funds "To Pay Any Person For Influencing Or Attempting To Influence" "A Member Of Congress." According to the text of Title 40, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 34:
(a) No appropriated funds may be expended by the recipient of a Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement to pay any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with any of the following covered Federal actions: the awarding of any Federal contract, the making of any Federal grant, the making of any Federal loan, the entering into of any cooperative agreement, and the extension, continuation, renewal, amendment, or modification of any Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement.
(b) Each person who requests or receives from an agency a Federal contract, grant, loan, or cooperative agreement shall file with that agency a certification, set forth in appendix A, that the person has not made, and will not make, any payment prohibited by paragraph (a) of this section. [40 Code of Federal Regulations § 34.100, via GPO.gov, 7/1/00]
ALA Receives Only A Small Fraction Of Its Total Funding From The EPA
ALA Total Revenue Was More Than $150 Million From 2006-2008. According to annual 990 filings, the American Lung Association received at least $150,383,333 in contributions and grants from 2006 to 2008. If the ALA received roughly $20 million from the EPA over the past ten years, as Hoft alleges, this comes out to about $6 million over three years. Thus, from 2006 to 2008, money given to the ALA by the EPA amounted to approximately only 4 percent of the total money ALA received.
Here is a breakdown of contributions and grants received by the ALA from 2006 to 2008, the last year for which the ALA has made its annual 990 filings available on GuideStar, a database that collects and publishes information regarding nonprofits:
[GuideStar.org, accessed 3/24/11]