by Matthew Boyle 26 Nov 2014
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.”