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Congressional Research Service: Congress Has Power to Block Funding for Obama's Executive Amnesty

Article author: 
Matthew Boyle
Article publisher: 
Breitbart
Article date: 
November 27, 2014
Article category: 
National News
Medium
Article Body: 

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has concluded that House Appropriations Committee chairman Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY) is wrong, and that Congress can in fact block funding for President Barack Obama’s executive amnesty order.

“In light of Congress’s constitutional power over the purse, the Supreme Court has recognized that ‘Congress may always circumscribe agency discretion to allocate resources by putting restrictions in the operative statutes,’” the CRS, a legislative authority on Capitol Hill, wrote in a report sent to incoming Senate Budget Committee chairman Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL). “Where Congress has done so, ‘an agency is not free simply to disregard statutory responsibilities.’ Therefore, if a statute were enacted which prohibited appropriated funds from being used for some specified purposes, then the relevant funds would be unavailable to be obligated or expended for those purposes.”

Sessions’ team provided the CRS report—which is not made public unless members of Congress who request such reports decide to make them so—exclusively to Breitbart News. 

Rogers, last week, argued that Congress could not block funding for Obama’s executive amnesty because the agency that will be printing the work authorization and other documents for illegal aliens—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)—operates primarily on fees it collects rather than from tax revenue collected by the federal government.

The House Appropriations Committee, which Rogers chairs, said in a statement last week:

The primary agency for implementing the President's new immigration executive order is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications. Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the 'E-Verify' program. Therefore, the Appropriations process cannot be used to 'de-fund' the agency. The agency has the ability to continue to collect and use fees to continue current operations, and to expand operations as under a new Executive Order, without needing legislative approval by the Appropriations Committee or the Congress, even under a continuing resolution or a government shutdown.

But the CRS report that Sessions requested shows that is untrue. Even if an agency like USCIS operates on fees rather than tax revenues appropriated by Congress, the Congress can still block funding for the implementation of such matters as Obama’s executive amnesty. ...

Cutting the legalese language here, basically this means that, no matter how USCIS gets it money—even if it’s from a prior authorization appropriation that is permanent and based on fee collection—Congress can still restrict the use of that money for some purposes...

The Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz laid out on Tuesday how one of the things “lost amidst the hullabaloo of mob rule in Ferguson” is that the GOP is planning to “capitulate” to Obama’s amnesty. Part of that caving by Speaker John Boehner to Obama on executive amnesty, Horowitz notes, is that Republicans will promise to fight later—but won’t block the funding of it now.

“This strategy allows GOP leaders to promise a fight three months from now, after Obama’s executive action becomes more entrenched, without having to fight on defund immediately,” Horowitz wrote. “It will also buy them time to work on the second step: negotiating with Obama to pass amnesty legislatively.”...

 


CAIRCO Notes

The article alludes to a two-step Republican plan: 

1. Ignore Obama's royal amnesty decree for as long as possible, and then

2. Capitulate by legislating an amnesty.

That's certainly not in the best interest of Amerian and of over 18 million unemployed Americans. 

This will be the last chance for the Republican party to salvage itself in the eyes of patriotic and conservative constituents.