This spending resolution bans funds for already-defunct ACORN

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 5 2013 1:33 PM

Republican Spending Resolution Will Ban Funds for Long-Deceased ACORN

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Former ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis delivers remarks during a National Press Club event in 2009.

Photo by KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

HuffPost's Zach Carter read through the House's proposed continuing resolution, the spending package that will fund the government through September. And he found this:

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

SEC. 510. None of the funds made available in this Act may be distributed to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) or its subsidiaries or successors.

ACORN folded in 2010, though, sunk by the weight of scandal and a unexpected de-funding bill passed by a then-Democratic Congress. So this is a classic what-are-those-schmucks-up-to story, but what explains it? Why did the House Appropriations Committee include this language in the bill?

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"It started back when he ACORN issue was prominent," says committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing, "but since then we've carried the provisions into spending bills."

Since ACORN doesn't exist, what would be affected by the rule? There are new groups built on ACORN's ashes, with former ACORN staffers, but how does Congress track them?

"That would be up the agency that distributes the funds," says Hing. "In this case, it would be up to DOD. It would make that determination, along with the GAO, what the definition of a subsidiary or a successor is. And this is standard language that goes into most of our bills."

In other words, funding for the ghost of ACORN will be banned for all time.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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