Posted: 8:51 pm Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015
By Jamie Dupree
Working on a spending bill for next year, Republicans muscled a plan through the House of Representatives that would prevent the Obama Administration from spending any money to defend the President’s immigration actions in court.
“My amendment prohibits any of the funds from being used to further defend this unconstitutional amnesty position,” said Rep. Steve King (R-IA), a leading critic of the President’s plan to allow some 4-5 million people now in the U.S. illegally to remain on a temporary basis.
The vote was 222-204. 19 Republicans voted against the plan. No Democrats supported it.
The plan was approved part of a spending bill that dealt in part with the Department of Justice.
An effort by Republicans to shut off money to implement the President’s executive actions were dropped by the GOP earlier this year.
It seems unlikely that this use of the “Power of the Purse” by Republicans could move forward in the Senate, where Republicans would need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster by Democrats.
“None of the funds”
The prohibition approved on the legal battle over immigration was one of a number of funding restrictions in the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016.
Some other examples:
+ None of the funds can be used by the Drug Enforcement Administration for “the purpose of bulk data collection”
+ None of the funds can be used “to transition oversight over the Internet’s domain name system away from the Department of Commerce”
+ None of the funds can be used “to expand new law enforcement certifications under the National Firearms Act”
+ None of the funds can be used “o require race or ethnicity to be disclosed during the transfer of a firearm”
+ None of the funds can be used by the feds to prevent states from implementing their own laws on medical marijuana
+ None of the funds can be used “to enforce certain restrictions on fishing for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico”
+ None of the funds can be used to operate a “cell site simulator” unless it is authorized by a court order that specifically covers “an individual, account, address, or personal device”
+ None of the funds can be used “to prosecute or hold liable any person or corporation for a violation of Sec. 2 (a) of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act”
+ None of the funds can be used “to carryout Operation Choke Point”
Those were just a sample of how the Congress tries to use the “Power of the Purse” against the Executive Branch; this was just one of the dozen spending bills that must make it through the Congress each year.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.