Clarifying Kathy Castor's Vote on ACORN

Earlier today in our report, we referred to a letter that Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor wrote to the Tampa Tribune, responding to criticism that she voted to maintain funding for ACORN, the must abused community organization for poor people that is under fire for a variety of recent scandals.

The Representative wrote that the reason she voted against HB 3221 (The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which would increase the Pell Grant and provide more financial aide to college students) was because it "could have complicated and delayed" the enactment of the bill.

But Castor DID vote for HB 2918,  a House Appropriations bill, which includes this provision:

Sec. 163. None of the funds made available by this joint resolution or any prior Act may be provided to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or allied organizations.

Of course, HB 2918 did not get near the media attention as did HB 3221, which came shortly after the U.S. Senate voted to deny federal money for ACORN as well.

Several members of Congress who also voted against HB 3221 were quite adamant in believing  that the vote was  unconstitutional, but Castor was not among them.

In the current political environment, whatever the reasoning, supporting ACORN could be risky - if Castor was being threatened by a serious political opponent.  But considering that the 11th Congressional District hasn't gone GOP in a generation, she shouldn't be sweating it.

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