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  • Morning Bell: Obama Administration Will Pay Companies to Violate the Law

    The Obama Administration’s disregard for the law has struck again—and this time, it’s encouraging others to violate the law at taxpayer expense.

    That’s worth saying again: The Obama Administration is encouraging people to violate a law, and promising that it will use taxpayer money to cover fines incurred from this action.

    The law: The law in question is called the WARN Act, and it requires that federal contractors send employees layoff notices 60 days before a plant closing or mass layoff.

    The inconvenience: Massive defense spending cuts under sequestration are scheduled to hit on January 2, 2013. Defense contractors affected by the budget cuts would have to issue notice letters to employees by November 2 (four days before the election) to meet the January 2 start date for the spending cuts.

    The penalty taxpayers would pay: Employers who violate the WARN Act are liable to their former employees for “back pay for each day of a violation” and “benefits under an employee benefit plan,” as well as a penalty of $500 for each day that notice has not been sent to the local government where the layoffs will occur.

    As an example, Lockheed CEO Bob Stevens has said that 123,000 of his employees would receive layoff notices. If companies fail to meet the WARN Act’s deadline, lawsuits from employees could result—but the White House has provided a taxpayer-funded guarantee as a way to counter their fears of enormous litigation costs. This guarantee is not only unprecedented but also potentially unlawful.

    This week, President Obama sent mixed signals about the fate of these budget cuts. He suggested at Monday’s debate that sequestration wouldn’t happen, but then days later indicated to an Iowa newspaper that it would.

    It remains to be seen whether companies will take the Administration up on its offer. And government contractors who rely on this “guarantee” from the White House do so at their peril: If this Administration or a new Administration changes its mind and withdraws the guarantee, those contractors will have no cause of action against the government for the cost of WARN Act violations.

    If this were a joke, the punchline would be that President Obama supported the WARN Act when he was a Senator—and even wanted to require that employers give more notice. In 2007, he argued that contractors should have to give 90 days’ notice.

    Then-Senator Obama said:

    American workers who have committed themselves to their employers expect in return to be treated with a modicum of respect and fairness. Failing to give workers fair warning…ignores their need to prepare for the transition.…Many of these workers support families that are living from paycheck to paycheck, squeezed by the demands of rising health care costs, the declining value of their homes, and wages that have been stagnant for decades. It adds insult to injury to close a plant without warning employees.

    But this is no joke. This is the ultimate abuse of the President’s executive authority: inducing federal contractors to violate a federal law and promising to use taxpayer funds to reimburse them for any resulting liability that they incur for violating that law.

    Refusing to follow federal law has become the hallmark of this Administration, but the White House’s latest arrogant, unlawful ploy goes even further and may end up costing the American taxpayer a great deal of money.

    Read the full report: Urging Federal Contractors to Violate the WARN Act

    Watch our video on the effects of sequestration

    Quick Hits:

    • Oshkosh Corp., a truck manufacturer with Pentagon contracts, just announced it will lay off 450 workers in January. The company “blamed the ‘difficult decisions’ on looming cuts to the nation’s defense budget,” reports The Examiner.
    • Pressure is growing on the Obama Administration to reveal details about why non-union autoworkers’ pensions were drastically cut after the auto bailout—when union workers were treated very differently.
    • The Energy Department paid $7.7 million in severance packages to temporary workers hired with stimulus money, reports the Washington Guardian.
    • Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner is featured on a new segment of Glenn Beck’s “American Voices.” Watch him explain why he is conservative.
    • The Heritage Foundation has released trade freedom scores for the forthcoming 2013 Index of Economic Freedom. See where the U.S. stands.
    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    57 Responses to Morning Bell: Obama Administration Will Pay Companies to Violate the Law

    1. glynnda says:

      I'll be watching for the announcement of the lawsuit on behalf of the taxpayers by Heritage.

    2. Epiphanes says:

      If the executive branch is violating the laws of the United States or encouraging companies to violate laws of the United States, why is "Mr President" or the executive branch NOT being challenged on these matters. Is that not what the executive branch suppose to do? Oh….my bad. I forgot that the oath of office actually has NO meaning and is just a promise to "faithfully execute and defend" the laws of the country. Just like Social Security….NO guarantee of benefits…….Just a PROMISE to pay. Watch your back citizens.

      • concernedjoy says:

        I've had that question myself. This administration continues going around laws, ignoring the laws they don't agree with, simply because they don't get called on it. They ignored the courts when we had the big oil spill in the Gulf, and they were allowed to get away with it. I think most citizens do not have the funds or even understand how to challenge this, but what about the House and or Senate? Shouldn't this be part of their jobs? Or, as glynnda said, organziations such as Heritage?

      • Frederick Pechin says:

        Oh I forgot! Obama said by Nov. 2. Isn't that before the election. Oh! More votes for Obamanana!

      • Jim Myers says:

        Because it isn't happening. Sequestration may or may not happen and the date is uncertain either way. So where do you count back 60 days from? This is exactly the sort of thing Republicans would pull (you know, like voter ID laws) so they have no room to complain.

    3. Spinoneone says:

      Since Congress is the budget authority, where does the White House get the money to pay for the potential fines and other litigation expenses which may occur as a result of violations of the WARN Act? An E.O. has the power of a law, but if the Congress does not supply the funds to implement the E.O., what happens? Also, while unlikely at the moment, the Congress could override an E.O. with a 2/3rds vote. A new President could also rescind a previous E.O.

    4. Susan Haines says:

      The Senate is who must challenge these issues an as long as it's in the hands of the Democrats, he will not be challenged. This is another good reason to turn the Senate over to the Republicans. Then we can hold him accountable at the very least. So vote, people, vote!!

      • oldephardt says:

        Susan, This Senate will do nothing to rein in this wayward and totally illegal man who believes he has dictator-like power and can rule when and how he wants. If our media gave a hoot, they would wage such a campaign as would force the government back to the law but they don't care as long as the ad dollars flow. Harry Reid won't allow the Senate to consider any action to limit Obama – and I'm sure you note no outcry from any leading Democrat over Benghazi, Fast & Furious or the inability to enact a required budget. The people must take their country back, restore the rule of law, slash the inefficient and over-paid corrupt government and then guide America back to the greatness taken away since he days of Johnson's Great Society. The odd aspect is that the so-called middle class – the ones being pandered-to by the Democrats, are the ones who have been most harmed by the Democrats policies, increased costs, falling job market, credit crunches and all.

    5. girlsNguns says:

      I am so sick and tired of hearing all the illegal things that this pres. does but noone seems to do anything about any of it! I don't want to hear another thing unless it is that someone somewhere is actually taking legal steps to arrest or impeach this man!!

      • Juan Martinez says:

        girlsNguns, nothing will ever happen. The previous guy lied to the entire nation about having proof that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and started a war that lasted for 8 years and cost > $1 trillion. No one did anything about that. Why should things change?

        • Bobbie says:

          yes girlsNguns, when men make mistakes weaker men can fall behind, weaker men will take full advantage and cause more mistakes because their sense of rationality is not the same as men and they'll justify their mistakes calling it someone elses'. Why be of strong mind to avoid it? That's the attitude in America's government as if America deserves to be treated the way this administration is treating America. He blames Bush for everything he made no "change" to, that wasn't intentional sacrifice on America(ns.) He should be impeached yesterday for what he did and didn't do in Benghazi.

          Obama must know why he is making this matter into more panic to the working class by using their tax dollars to bribe corporations (they work for) for when the corporations chips may fall, avoided under honorable businesses who self govern. Something is mentally wrong with America's government who defies America's constitution and shoves their existence where government doesn't belong! Things will change under leadership of principle, integrity, dignity and respect for America(ns.)

    6. @undefined says:

      There are no repercussions. They continue to deceive the American public without fear of reprisal.

    7. julie says:

      More corruption within the Obama administration…when would this all end.

    8. There is not going to be lay offs. It is just a scare tactic as usual.

    9. AZ Border Dude says:

      Doesn't Congress have to authorize an expenditure of this nature? Oh, that's right, there is no budget for the 2013 Fiscal Year yet. Well, this should be in the Coninuing Resolution they passed a little while ago. When does that expire? Was this in that law? Look in the part entitled, "President's Secret Slush Fund."

      Since this appears to be a Civil violation the only thing that can be done is to sue the President to get the money back. Hope those companies who take him up on this deal have real good lawyers, very deep pockets or a bankrupcy plan. I believe there is a clause in the Procurement Code that bans companies that violate laws like these from all future government contracts.

    10. George says:

      I only wonder how there can be so many of our suppositly brillant people in this country still backing this criminal.

    11. Pete Condon says:

      Is this attorney, Barak Obama, from the highest elected office, advising people to break the Law? Doesn't this rise to the level of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors?" I know many liberals, they claim to be honest, some are attorneys and yet they give their full support to Obama? This is beyond questionable: this is Treason!

    12. Pete says:

      This is another example of our Federal Government – the executive in particular – being lawless. We are lost unless the balance of power in our system is restored.

    13. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Obama encouraging the law to be broken! Wow, what a surprise. Obama and his minions have been not only encouraging the laws to be broken or ignored, but Obama does it constantly. Does no one realize a Marxist does not adhere to any laws, let alone a Constitution.

    14. Paula says:

      How it sickens me that our country has been reduced to this by our president! The United States has become dishonorable country before our very eyes.

    15. BruceP says:

      What is required for the Judicial Branch to get involved immediately? It seems contrary to the rules that one branch can arbitrarily decide to ignore federal law, and then decide to use tax payer money to pay the penalties.

      • Marylander says:

        Holder is the "top cop" in the judicial branch. Need I say more!

      • Mike Haines says:

        BruseP, do you really think the judicial branch would do anything about this? Perhaps you forgot they are already breaking laws in support of the pres.

    16. timpclimber says:

      A new word for your dictionary, Obomacator; A person who lies and calls anyone who challenges his lie a liar. This man with out a conscience will remembered as the man who made Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon look like saints.

      • Mike Haines says:

        I like this new word. Fits. How about a new phrase? With credits to VP Gore; Pres.Obama has 'inconvenient laws'. So to him they are just suggestions.

    17. TJ says:

      My question to the brilliant folk at Heritage is: How can we, as concerned readers, reach out to the appropriate people at the various defense contractors to make our voice heard on this. I want to make sure that they see this link and that their actions are under a microscope.

    18. Brenda Smith says:

      Obama makes his own rules and has no respect for the law.

    19. Jason says:

      For this behavior to even come close to being eithical or even legal, the reimbursement money to these companies should come from the Obama campaign and the Democrat party, not the taxpayers.

      • tworeplies says:

        If that were fair, then the GOP would still be paying back the American people for the two wars that Bush declared (especially those without the approval of Congress).

    20. Daver says:

      Stockholders need to step up and let Lockheed, Teledyne, Halliburton, Boeing and all of the other major contractors that failure to issue the WARN letters will result in consequences beyond the obvious additional risks that they will be subjecting their companies to by failing to comply with the law.

      It's shocking and disgusting that the MSM is not screaming about this to the high heavens!!

      Godspeed on Obama's swift departure from the house of the people.

    21. SBFLA says:

      Just another step towards using the Constitution as a roll of tp. Obama challenges the constitution at every turn and congress and SCOTUS do nothing to protect us. So much for the promises to defend and protect our rights.

      • tworeplies says:

        Referenced please.
        It's one thing to call out an administration for violating the rights of citizens (as the PATRIOT act and warrantless wiretapping did/does), but it's a WHOLE other thing to call out an administration based on vapid claims with no evidence to back them up.
        Raise yourself up by providing evidence. Otherwise people will just think you're flinging mud to fling mud.

    22. Clearhead says:

      Whether or not the gullible law breaking companies get their illegal reimbursement, it will still be on their record that the company broke the law, and is therefore suspect in any future trust.

      • tworeplies says:

        It's not the LAW BREAKING companies who get reimbursement, it's the EMPLOYEES who were not given fair WARNing who would get reimbursement.
        Obama is just taking responsibility for any possible wrong-doing done by companies the government ITSELF hires.

    23. In business it takes an owner or boss or CEO at the top. It takes people who know how to manage the business and keep up with the companies financial situation, its planning, its advertizing, its quality controls, its personnel, its demand and supply, to include all the issues and people involved from the CEO to the janitor. This is how "trickle down" really works. What ever trickles down from the people at the top shows up in the people who work for the company and the end product they produce. The moral values and honesty in business practices will inevitability result in the success of that business. What we have in this administration is a total disregard of moral values or honesty in running this country. We are seeing the "trickle down" effects of his policies.

    24. I'm with you "concerned/joy "This administration continues going around laws, ignoring the laws they don't agree with," Each action by BHO and his administration have been damaging America, and contradicting our Constitution in every way. We cannot take another four years of this madness.

    25. Jeanne Stotler says:

      This is the most corrupt administration in History, Our Founding Fathers are probably spinning in their graves, BUT then what do you expect out of "Chicgo style" polititians who are out to line their own pockets We need to get back to honest people who uphold the oath they take to serve their constituants and uphold the Constitution as well. First lets put teaching,history, and Civics back in school so our next generation will have the knowledge with which ti fight for rights.

      • PATROIT says:

        WELL SAID!

      • Jim Myers says:

        Most corrupt? Reagan agreeing to illegally sell arms to Iran even before he was elected and then continuing to arm them thru his administration and taking the profits from the sale of these arms to arm mass-murderers in Central America wasn't as bad as a violation that even according to this extremely biased site hasn't even happened? Why am I wasting my time? No comments that aren't 100% pro-Romney/anti-Obama will ever make it onto this site.

      • Karen says:

        If your looking for honest 'the father of lies' goes to Romney. Never heard so many lies in record time. When thinking of a leader I ask 'Does the person consistently tell the truth and act in an honest manner? Is he trustworthy and a reliable? Romney hasn't even tried to be truthful, a different 'story' depending on who you are and where you live..what ever fits!

    26. Stirling says:

      3rd world country policies at work.. and 3rd world country results.. Hopefully our companies have more backbone then our nations banks when it comes to standing up to this administration.

    27. Donald DaCosta says:

      This is obviously a political ploy by the Obama machine (I hesitate to call them Democrats) to avoid the impact of reports of mass layoffs a few days before the election. Though, with Obama's adoring and devoted main stream media it would most likely only by reported on the FOX Business channel. The rest would remain silent and the print media would bury it if they reported it at all.

    28. Zmannw says:

      The companies that take Obama up on his offer do so at their own peril. Once the lawsuits start Obama will be denying he ever told them the government would back them up. He's afraid of loosing the union voters if they think their jobs are in jeopardy

    29. Guest I. Guess says:

      God help us if he does, but If he gets re-elected, I hope they start the prosecution of his crimes to get him out of there.

    30. krehbiel says:

      Recent events are causing me to believe that Obama’s attitude, arrogance, and conceit are bolstered by his confidence that the fix is in and his re-election is already “in the bag”.

      Bell 10-26-12

    31. catdaddio42 says:

      These defense contractors had better watch their step: the current administration has double-crossed every for-profit corporation they made back-room deals with. Just ask Mr. Dimon at J.P. Morgan Chase or Steve "Ill be damned if I want to have him lecture me" Wynn of Wynn Resorts (among others). Just a hunch but the White House occupant may not always be in favor of capitalism, especially when it's against his personal interests.

    32. @undefined says:

      Sounds like big business better get it done before Nov 2 then doesn't it? I know a lot of people from Enron in Texas that would agree with this law. Enron just closed it doors without warning lying to the public claiming it was making record gains. Then one day the employees showed up to find the doors chained, many lost their jobs in an instant, many lost their pensions/retirements, homes, the only income they had, lives were shattered. I have no pity for big business, follow the law and stop taking advantage of the employees. If and When I see the lowest employee get a million dollar severance package in writing then and only then will I shed a tear…..

    33. We've witnessed this repeatedly over and over in the past four years! In my own personal jobs as well as my husband's Delphi! working employees, dependent on their job for food and clothing for their families, literally kicked out onto the street after 30 years. Cannot believe it! Obviously, Obamanomics in play!

    34. Nora McCormick says:

      This is the most corrupt administration I have ever seen in my life. There is NO semblance of POTUS fulfilling his oath – his publicly made oath sworn in the Bible – to the people of the United States. He has violated this oath time and time again and is not being held accountable by the people WHO ELECTED HIM! I am disgusted, angry and very afraid for my country. God gave the US the President they wanted. Not I pray He will give us the President we need. My vote is already cast. But I am not done – I continue to talk to those who have not voted yet.

    35. Geoff Kelly says:

      More consequences from GOP Congressional intransigency over the debt ceiling !

    36. American1776 says:

      As for me, my flag goes to half staff if O wins a second term. I believe if he does, we will be watching the death of America as we know it. There will be nothing to retain him. Certainly not our Senete or Congress if the past is any example. Time to start morning,

    37. Suzanne says:

      I hate to be soo detail oriented (Romney struggles with answering with details), but I don't see any sources quoted…..

    38. Pete Houston says:

      I would not trust the federal government to cover my expenses for violating the Warn Act. What happens if Romney is voted in and that may happen. The republicans are not going to step in the dems with this. If Obama wins, they are going to cut government contracts and give the money away in welfare/dependancy programs to ensure they get voted in again in 4 years. They would be foolish to believe the current administration. I think that they should be honest with their workers that they are going to unemployed and they need to start looking for replacement employment. The dishonesty does nobody any good.

    39. Mike McGrath says:

      Bob Steven's initial announcement that Lockheed would be sending out thousands of WARN Act notices was a great idea. It was intended to force Obama into detailing his plan for defense cuts before the election, which would put Obama in a no-win situation.
      However, it wasn't just the Dept of Labor that told contractors they didn't have to send out layoff notices. Lockheed would have ignored that guidance. The DoD sent out a guidance that no further defense cuts would be made to the budget until several months after the start of the new year and, therefore, WARN notices were not appropriate at this time. This is not indemnification at the taxpayers' expense. It is simply allowing existing contracts to continue at their current levels, only to be "chopped" at a later date. The end result is that some folks will keep their jobs for a few months longer, but the cuts, when they do come, will necessarily be even deeper because the "savings" doesn't start until a few months later. Defense contractors' hands are tied, and the taxpayers are paying for this legal deception.

    40. phiric says:

      Why would a defense contractor want to do the Obama administration a favor and delay announcing layoffs? They should be going out of their way to publicly threaten all kinds of layoffs, and clearly blame the current administration for needing to do so! With Obama in office, they surely don't expect their business to GROW. Seems to me that the defense contractors would want their employees to vote Republican!

    41. Val Halloran says:

      One more cover up that is not only costing our military, companies that support them, but will cost taxpayers millions as this information is being hidden until after the election.

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