The pusillanimous party 8

Demonstrating how it is only the lesser of two evils, the Republican Party, so recently energized and savvy enough to win big in the elections, is lying back on it’s “go along to get along” couch. Or at least a significant section of it is.

President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration hasn’t even been issued yet, and already congressional Republicans are desperately trying to come up with reasons why they’re powerless to do anything about it.

We quote from the Federalist by Sean Davis (via Watchdog Community):

It would be “impossible to defund President Obama’s executive order through a government spending bill”, House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing said Thursday. …

We cannot, literally cannot, defund that agency in an appropriations bill because we don’t appropriate that agency. That agency is entirely-fee funded. As of right now, our understanding is the primary agency responsible for implementing any type of executive order is CIS and we don’t fund CIS. There are no appropriated dollars.

That is absolute nonsense. The notion that Congress can turn on a money spigot but is banned from turning it off is nonsense. And the worst part is that it’s willful nonsense. There is simply no law whatsoever that says that the House is only allowed to X and Y but not Z on an appropriations bill.

Now why would appropriators be so invested in pushing something completely false about the Congressional power of the purse? Easy. They don’t want another defund/shutdown fight. I get that. I understand that a lot of Republicans think the 2013 shutdown seriously hurt the long-term interests of the party. I don’t agree with it, but I understand that concern. But what’s happening right now is that rather than just saying, “We don’t want another defund/shutdown fight,” appropriators are dishonestly pretending that even if they wanted one, it’s impossible. Which is balderdash.

The excuse they’re trying to make is that because the USCIS, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is funded primarily by mandatory, rather than discretionary spending, they have no way to whack it with an annual appropriations bill. …

It’s a clever little argument. Completely wrong, but clever. What these appropriators want you to believe is that “not subject to annual appropriations” and “cannot be changed via an appropriations bill” are synonymous. They’re not. …

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.

Congress adds riders and prohibitions to appropriations bills all the time. Why? Because it can. That’s kind of the whole purpose of Article 1, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution:

No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.

And from that power of the purse come the most powerful words in federal law. [Congress can say:] “Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no funds shall be appropriated or otherwise made available for ______.”

That’s it. That’s literally all it takes. …

Republicans can add defunding language to any bill whenever they so choose.

The issue is not that they can’t use the power of the purse to block Obama’s lawless power grab. The issue is that they don’t want to. The real shame is that they can’t even be honest about that.

Posted under immigration, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Friday, November 21, 2014

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This post has 8 comments.

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  • Don L

    And even more:

    When I was a kid, it was constantly drummed into our heads that whatever you do, it will follow you forever. You are to be judged by your behavior. It makes absolute and total sense. You are responsible for your actions. Totally disregarding the religious aspects, I’ve always thought the jewish Bat and Bar Mitzvah was a good idea…charging a person at an appropriate age to publicly prove the ability to accept responsibility.

    I don’t know when the idea that what you do doesn’t matter. Was it the 60s? It certainly seems that this is when mass media met the war turmoil and the flagrant lies by government came together…everybody became a criminal. Do you know all the laws on the books? Not knowing is not an excuse…you are breaking a law just sitting in your home…I bet. So, what does doing right matter?

    Oaths stopped meaning anything and government requires that oaths are upheld. Of course, when the 545 that comprise the government are all oath breakers and a significant percent of the population, Gruber had it right, HAVE BEEN MADE stupid by the 545’s enactments then we get a piece of socialist trash like Obama and a feckless congress and a self-aggrandizing judiciary. How many times it is said and not heeded: You get the government you deserve.

  • Ralph

    Rand Paul is not the perfect candidate for president, but he may be the last chance we have. He does seem to understand that the rights of the individual
    are more important than the rights of the government.

    • Don L

      Absolutely agree with one exception…and I think it is a fatal flaw.

      He is Austrian economics trained and believes in all aspects of the Founding principles. yet, he is a libertarian on the topic of Iran. He, like his father, believe Iran can be contained…as if they were the USSR. I believe this is a terminal risk. If he’s wrong, the risk is too high. Pacifism is the invitation to war.

      I agree we are at the core of many of our international difficulties. Teddy Roosevelt and other advetures in telling the world how to live has been a disaster. But, even IF 100% the cause of an Iran, there is no way you can trust a radical theocracy steeped in the demands of Allah to kill infidels to have a nuke capability. They are not the USSR!!! We have to clean up our messes before we go home to defense and free trade as the only entanglements.

      If he were to state categorically that he would use military might to stop Iran from possessing the bomb…full and total backing. Otherwise, I have to go with a bible thumper…no matter how distasteful.

    • But not that Americans live in a dangerous world. He may not be isolationist, but he’s no hawk. And hawks are what America and the West in general need now.

  • Don L

    “Tearing Families Apart”…I’m tired of hearing this crap. Criminals have a kid and when the law is enforced, the law is blamed for the acts of the criminal.

    These people came here knowing they are breaking the law. They chose not to get in line. Then, years into their crime they decide to have a child. Then they get caught. What if the initial crime was a murder. When they are arrested, does anyone think the family is being torn apart by the law? No, of course not.

    What if the illegal immigrant does’n get caught and the child grows up. Who’s responsible for the consequences brought upon the off spring. The kids ought get angry with the parents who broke the law and KNEW these things would happen.

    So, screw ’em. Round ’em up and ship ’em out!!! No sympathy for the illegal immigrant…maybe some empathy for the children…very little.

  • Don L

    Career-politics is all and everything about being re-elected. These career-politicians claim that politics is the art of compromise in the process of doing America’s business. It is not. It is the backroom self-serving deal, gaming the system, toward raising campaign funds: extortion by regulation, contributions by subsidy, backscratching to benefit cronies, et cetera. If doing the right thing would interfere with re-election or party power it will not be done.

    The Founder’s provided cure for an out of control executive is impeach and remove. Erroneously, viewing the impeachment of Clinton as a model the republicans will not rid us of the racist tyrant Obama. The impeachment and removal of Obama will not be about, the media created lie, sex. Obama has undeniably committed high crimes and misdemeanors. And, the people realize this. I suggest a poll asking whether he she be removed given his inaction on terrorism, flagrant violation of the constitution and his intentional failure to secure our borders based political/ideological reasons would return a YES response approaching 70%. IMO it would enhance republicans’ chances for 2016.

    Indeed, force democrats to show whether or not they support our Constitution or not? Make it a measure of who will actually listen to voters or who believes in lying…like they did for passing Obamacare. These midterms were absolutely about Obamacare, the tyrant’s chronic lying and his egregious assaults against the Constitution. As the delayed Obamacare rules and regs begin to hit…being rid of the plan and it’s name sake WILL take on new meaning. But, alas…I’m dreaming. Cajones…mi amigos, they have not. One can only Hope for Change!

    Incidentally, to compromise that which is good idea with any part of a bad idea destroys the good idea. There is no such thing as a little bit of socialism.

    • Yes and yes and yes… All your points well taken, Don L.

  • liz

    So here we go again. Everyone must stand by and watch while our elected “representatives” proceed to represent jellyfish. Meanwhile the leftist destruction machine rolls on.