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November 20, 2014

Yes, Congress Can Defund Amnesty

A follow up to my post on ways the GOP can fight Obama's amnesty.

Earlier a staffer with the House Appropriations committee said that they couldn't defund amnesty because Customs and Immigration Services isn't funded by the annual appropriations bill.

Sean Davis of the Federalist and former congressional staffer tweeted to me this was wrong. He's now written a post calling BS on the claim that Congress doesn't actually have "the power of the purse" over amnesty.

They’re correct that USCIS spending is funded primarily by fees collected by the agency, and that the spending is mandatory, rather than discretionary. That means that USCIS does not need annual authorizations to use those fees to offset expenses. This is actually written into the 1882 law establishing the fees and the authority of the federal government to spend them:

[Follow link to see excerpt from the law]

The only thing that differentiates mandatory and discretionary spending is how often each must be re-authorized. Every single dollar spent by the federal government must be first appropriated by Congress. Just because some spending is not subject to annual appropriation doesn’t mean it’s not subject to appropriation at all. Congress can’t block Obama’s executive order by shutting down the government, but it most certainly can defund it by law.

So yeah, don't buy the "we can't do anything about it BS".

Sorry for the earlier confusion.


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posted by DrewM. at 01:09 PM

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