NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Combating Executive Orders with Appropriations

December 3, 2014

With the President's recent executive order granting amnesty to 5 million illegal aliens, many have suggested that congressional opponents of the scheme can tackle the order by denying funding for the order. Would that work? The Heritage Foundation reports that Congress could, in fact, use its power of the purse to limit the president's order.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division within the Department of Homeland Security, would manage the president's order, which allows 5 million illegals to live and work legally in the United States. According to the Heritage Foundation, Congress can use the appropriations process to limit the conditions for which federal money can be used, and it can specify that expenditures are only "legally available" for certain actions.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services gets most of its funding from fees. However, according to research by the Congressional Research Service, those fee collections are still subject to the appropriations process and any congressional restrictions that might be put on them.

Source: "Can Congress Use Spending Bills to Address President Obama's Executive Actions on Immigration?" Heritage Foundation, December 2, 2014. 

 

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