Cause of Action Investigates
Cause of Action has discovered that Stimulus grants have been improperly used to lobby for soda taxes and smoke-free ordinances. The grant program, titled Communities Putting Prevention to Work, is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and was designed to help state and local governments educate citizens on preventing obesity and excessive tobacco use. However, documents reveal that these grants have been used to persuade state and local representatives to vote in favor of soda taxes and anti-smoking laws.
Use of discretionary grants for lobbying is prohibited by federal law. Because of the gravity of the abuse, Freedom Through Justice has requested, in writing, that the offices of the Inspector General of Health and Human Services and the Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board open a full investigation into which grantees have used stimulus funds to engage in improper lobbying.
Regarding these violations, Executive Director Dan Epstein stated, “We hope that their offices will treat this revelation with the seriousness it deserves. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was intended to boost jobs and get the economy working again, not fill the pockets of well-connected lobbyists in the name of nanny-state politics.”
Cause of Action will continue to investigate how and when federal funds were used to lobby for taxes most Americans oppose.