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NTU Supports H.R. 5818, the Mandate Prevention Act
A Letter to Representative Scott Garrett

August 11, 2010

The Honorable Scott Garrett
United States House of Representatives
137 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative Garrett:

     On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write to offer our support for H.R. 5818, your Mandate Prevention Act. This bill would protect American businesses from unfunded government mandates on the private sector by establishing a point of order against legislation that exceeds the private sector threshold as found in the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act (UMRA) and by lowering that threshold from $141 million to $70 million.

     While the issue of unfunded mandates has a long history dating back many decades, the need to rein in overarching federal government controls has never been more apparent than it is today. With passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, we will inevitably witness numerous mandates on individuals and businesses as they are forced to purchase "approved" health insurance plans. In 1994, when the topic of an individual mandate first arose, the Congressional Budget Office issued a report that said such a move would be an "unprecedented form of federal action." Today this dictate is part of federal law, is awaiting implementation in a few years, and is embroiled in debates over its constitutionality. Although NTU supports efforts to challenge the constitutional basis of the health care mandate, lawmakers can and should act now to constrain federal government's future ability to dictate the goods and services that American citizens are forced to purchase.

     Unfunded mandates severely undermine the financial stability and policy innovation potential of state and local governments, but their negative impact on the private sector is not less detrimental or concerning. Your legislation would provide a much-needed additional check on the federal government and would help preserve Tenth Amendment protections now under attack. We commend your work on this issue and look forward to helping you in your efforts to ensure that H.R. 5818 becomes law.

     Any roll call votes related to the Mandate Prevention Act will be significantly weighted in NTU's annual Rating of Congress.


Jordan Forbes
Federal Government Affairs Manager