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Congress Votes to Cut ACORN Funding

By Neetal Parekh | Last updated on

Government funding can provide the means for sustenance for non-profit organizations.  And any non-profit would agree that the thought of it being yanked could pose a substantial setback.   

Non-profit or not, it's not easy being ACORN these days.  And the House of Representatives' resounding vote to deny federal funding to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) this week is case in point.  And, with votes totaling 345 to 75 in favor of the funding cut, the numbers also signal a deliberate effort by the government to distance itself from the longtime community organizing institution.

The amendment to defund ACORN was recently written into the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, which is making its way through Congress.  Though ACORN has been on the community organizing scene since its founding in 1970 and has been as the largest organization to champion the rights and needs of the low-income sector, in recent weeks it has been doing damage control for incriminating videos of its staff members giving illegal advice to citizens.

What's next for ACORN?

It may be a little too early to tell.  Following the House's passage of defunding legislation, the ball is now in Senate's court.  If the Senate passes a similar funding cut measure, the matter will reach the President's desk for final evaluation and signing.  But ACORN hasn't lost all faith,  the organization claims to receive the lion's share of its funding from supporters, rather than from government.  Whether the damaging videos will affect the organization's private support base remains to be seen.


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