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McCollum seeks to bar federal funds going to felony corporations


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., plans to introduce legislation today that would stop federal dollars from flowing to corporations with a felony conviction.

The bill would specifically prohibit the corporation from receiving federal money for five years following the conviction. It would also block corporate felons from making federal campaign contributions for five years, and would limit the lobbying that the corporation can do during that period.

McCollum has dubbed the bill the Against Corporations Organizing to Rip-Off the Nation Act of 2009, or the ACORN Act. The name appears to reference action that Congress took earlier this month to stop federal dollars from going to the anti-poverty group ACORN.

“Congress took action to defund one non-profit serving poor Americans – ACORN – but not against the billion dollar corporations that are actually guilty of felonies,” McCollum said in a statement.  “For the 345 Members of Congress who voted to defund ACORN, this is bill is an opportunity to support corporate accountability and responsibility while punishing corporate crime.”

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McCollum and Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., were among 75 representatives to vote against defunding ACORN. They were the only members of the Minnesota delegation in the House to vote against the measure, which Republicans have been pushing.

The vote came in the wake of a series of investigations involving ACORN employees. ACORN, however, has never been convicted of a felony.

McCollum stated that under her bill a corporation would have to be convicted of a felony before federal funds are cut off.

McCollum is now circulating a letter to House members seeking co-sponsors for the legislation.