Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today sent a letter with House colleagues that asks the President to enforce a law he signed preventing the use of tax dollars to advocate or promote gun control. Rehberg, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, was the lead author of the letter in which Congress asks the Administration to respect Section 218 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 (P.L.112-74) which Rehberg authored and included in the legislation. Division F of Section 218 states that "none of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or part, to advocate or promote gun control."
"It's not terribly surprising that, in his efforts to subvert the Second Amendment of the Constitution, President Obama thinks he's above the law," said Rehberg, who has an A+ rating with the National Rifle Association and an A+ rating with Gun Owners of America. "You don't need to look much further than the anti-gun activist Supreme Court Justices Obama and his Senate allies confirmed to see this Administration's insidious favor of gun control. That's why checks and balances are so important. In this country, no one is above the law, especially when the law is the Constitution. Legislative authority belongs with the legislative branch, and the President is bound to abide by the laws he signs."
Since 2002, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which falls under Rehberg's subcommittee oversight responsibilities, spent nearly $5 million on research designed to advocate or promote gun control. For example, in one study that tried to determine why parents chose to own a gun, the NIH characterized parental gun ownership as a "hazard" to their children's safety, and aimed to solidify the notion that a "home free of hazards" was essential to a child's well-being. The clear insinuation is the federal government telling citizens that if they have a gun in the house they are not a good parent.
As a result, Rehberg added language to his subcommittee's appropriations bill to prevent these studies from being funded. Specifically, Section 218 of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education title (Division F), states that "none of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or part, to advocate or promote gun control."
In his signing statement, of the underlying law, President Obama indicated that he did not intend to enforce this provision of the law. In his statement he wrote: "Additional provisions in this bill, including section 8013 of Division A and section 218 of Division F, purport to restrict the use of funds to advance certain legislative positions. I have advised the Congress that I will not construe these provisions as preventing me from fulfilling my constitutional responsibility to recommend to the Congress's consideration such measures as I shall judge necessary and expedient."
In response, Rehberg crafted the letter below:
Dear Mr. President:
On December 23, 2011, you signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012 into law (P.L.112-74). This critical piece of legislation provided funding for the operation of our nation's government through the 2012 fiscal year. The bill also contained a number of funding restrictions designed to protect the American people from policies and regulations which hinder our economic recovery, imperil our national security and threaten our constitutional freedoms.
One of these funding restrictions, contained in Section 218 of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education title (Division F), states that "none of the funds made available in this title may be used, in whole or part, to advocate or promote gun control." This provision prevents agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) from using federal funding to promulgate research designed to paint legal gun ownership as a public health hazard. Since 2002, the NIH has spent nearly $5 million on this research, including a study that tried to determine why parents who possessed a firearm chose to own a gun. The study characterized parental gun ownership as a "hazard" to their children's safety, and aimed to solidify the notion that a "home free of hazards" was essential to a child's well-being. As millions of American gun owners will tell you, it is more than possible to exercise your Second Amendment rights while maintaining a safe home environment in which to raise children.
Our committee chose to restrict this funding because this study and others like it utilize taxpayer dollars to advance the false notion that legal gun ownership is a danger to public health instead of an inalienable right.
Section 218 was specifically crafted to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to bolster gun control efforts that infringe on the 2nd Amendment. We urge you to enforce the law you signed and Congress passed.