Campaign for Liberty to Congress: Leave MMA Alone

Americans can take comfort in the fact that Congress is not letting intensification issues like the skyrocketing national debt, the lack of economic growth, or the numerous international crisis caused by our hyper-interventionist foreign policy distract them from the important issues like Mixed Martial Arts (MMA).

Representative Markwayne Mullin has introduced HR 5365, legislation amending the Professional Boxing Safety Act to impose federal regulations on MMA. The federal government cannot even let us enjoy sports without getting their noses into it.

Instead of expending the regulatory state, Congress should repeal the unconstitutional and unnecessary Professional Boxing Act.  The act was passed in 1996 and boxing seemed to do just fine for over a hundred years before Congress got involved.

Campaign for Liberty members who think there are some areas of life that should be kept free of government interference should contract their Representatives and tell them to oppose HR 5365.

Here is the text of the letter Campaign for Liberty signed opposing HR 5365:

June 15, 2016
The Honorable John Kline
Committee on Education and the Workforce
U.S. House of Representatives
2176 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Fred Upton
Committee on Energy and Commerce
U.S. House of Representatives
2125 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

R: Oppose H.R. 5365, the “Muhammad Ali Expansion Act”

Dear Chairmen Kline and Upton:
We write in strong opposition to H.R.5365, the “Muhammad Ali Expansion Act,” legislation introduced by Rep. Markwayne Mullin to regulate mixed martial arts (MMA), which is one of the most popular sports in the U.S. and fastest growing throughout the world. This misguided legislation is yet another unfortunate and unneeded regulatory power grab that will stifle the dynamic innovation and success of MMA.

This legislation, among its many faults, tramples the traditional prerogatives of the states to regulate contracts and sporting events and is of dubious constitutionality. And, what can only be viewed as bizarre, the bill would enlist government bureaucrats to rank fighters and conduct matchmaking which is currently done exceptionally well by the private sector.
The nation faces many daunting challenges including a national debt that is approaching $20 trillion, a stagnating economy and wages, skyrocketing Obamacare costs, and terrorist enemies who seek to end our very existence. Federally regulating the MMA market, which is not broken and represents a true American success story, should not be given any serious attention by lawmakers.

MMA was not an overnight success. The American entrepreneurial spirit overcame numerous challenges to position it as a thriving well-regarded international sport. Because of its success, there are numerous fighters who have made millions in a sport that barely existed 15 years ago, thousands of jobs have been created and supported, and states and municipalities have enjoyed the benefits of increased economic activity and tax revenue.

Regulators throughout the U.S. and the world have adopted unified rules of MMA which ensures fair fights as well as predictable, transparent, and fair regulatory treatment. Because of the growing popularity of the sport, there are several MMA promoters who compete vigorously for talent and fans. This thriving free market should not be impeded by regulatory tinkerers on Capitol Hill.
One of the most troubling aspects of the Mullin bill is that it removes from the promoter the decision how fighters are ranked and when and against whom fighters are matched. From all accounts, the free market is not disappointing MMA fans. Promoters have every incentive, economic and reputational, to arrange the bouts that fans want to watch; and those same fans, reporters, and athletes will hold promoters accountable if they fail to appropriately match fighters.

Why Rep. Mullin believes government matchmaking would be superior to the current
free market system is unclear. What is clear is that the system is not broken, and H.R. 5365 is a solution in search of a problem.

This legislation also tramples the principles embodied in Article 1 and the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Congress can’t delegate its legislative authority to a private entity to write rules intended to be adopted by agencies of state governments.

Incredibly, H.R. 5365 does just that. It directs a private entity (the Association of Boxing Commissions) to write regulations to be adopted by state boxing commissions. We have long been concerned about Congress’ bad habit of delegating broad unaccountable authority to federal regulatory agencies.

Rep. Mullin’s idea takes this bad idea several steps further. He would delegate broad
unaccountable authority to a private entity and have state agencies adopt those regulations.This is an affront to our constitutional order.

Finally, we are deeply concerned about the growing federal regulatory leviathan. It regulates our lives in countless intrusive and burdensome ways. According to the Mercatus Center, economic growth in the U.S. has been slowed by 0.8 percent per year since 1980 which means, had regulation held constant from 1980 through 2012, the U.S. economy would be 25 percent larger – a delta of $4 trillion – which amounts to a benefit of $13,000 per person in the United States.

More importantly, a $4 trillion increase in GDP would create, literally, millions of
jobs—potentially wiping out unemployment for those both in and out of the workforce!
The American people are tired of business as usual in Washington and are not clamoring for more regulation on the private economy, including MMA. Instead, Congress should reject H.R. 5365 and focus on constitutional policies that reduce regulations, establish favorable economic conditions, balance the budget, and keep the American people safe.

George Landrith, President and CEO
Frontiers of Freedom
Andrew Langer, President
Institute for Liberty
Morton Blackwell, Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch
James L. Martin, Chairman
60 Plus Association
Matt Schlapp, Chairman
American Conservative Union
Phil Kerpen, President
American Commitment
David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Seton Motley, President
Less Government
Melissa Ortiz, President
Able Americans
Carrie Lukas, Managing Director
Independent Women's Voice
Heather R. Higgins, President and CEO
Independent Women's Voice
Andrew F. Quinlan, President
Center for Freedom and Prosperity
David Ridenour, President
National Center for Public Policy Research
Alex St. James, National Executive Director
One Day in America
Daniel Schneider, Executive Director
American Conservative Union
Larry Cirignano, DC Representative
Children First Foundation
Rusty Weiss, Founder
Mental Recession
Cameron Gray, Author
Norm Singleton, Senior Vice President
Campaign for Liberty
Matthew Nye, Chairman,
Republican Liberty Caucus

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