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Press Release

Key Vote No: Thrift Savings Plan Legislation Being Considered Under Suspension of the Rules

On behalf of hundreds of thousands of FreedomWorks members nationwide, I urge you to vote “No” on Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) legislation being considered this week under suspension of House rules.  This legislation could take the form of one bill or two, but in either case the intent is to force all federal employees into the TSP in order to pay for costs associated with H.R. 1256, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act that Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA-30) is championing.

How the government chooses to administer TSP is its own business, but forcing people into one program to pay for a new program unnecessarily expands government and has the effect of enacting a hidden tax.  Under the plan, the government would take a percentage of the amount each federal employee is forced to invest as a fee, estimated to be about $1.1 billion over 10 years.  The government would then draw from this new “slush fund” to fund Waxman’s bill which would bring tobacco under FDA regulation.

As offensive as this policy is to taxpayers tired of Congressional money-grabs to prop up more big government programs, perhaps more disturbing is the manner in which TSP legislation is being rushed through the process.  By putting the TSP legislation on the suspension calendar instead of allowing it to go through regular order, Waxman and other members of the House Democratic Leadership hope to sneak it through quickly and prevent legislators from offering germane amendments and having debate on the issue.  This should not be allowed to stand.

Proposed TSP legislation being offered this week under suspension indirectly raises taxes and is an abuse of the legislative process.  I again urge you to vote “No” on such legislation and will count your vote as a KEY VOTE when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2009. The FreedomWorks Economic Freedom Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the Jefferson Award, which recognizes members of Congress with voting records that support economic freedom.

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