Congress has the “power of the purse” to stop many of the illogical, illegal, unnecessary and unconstitutional expenditures, programs and bureaucracies exist in Washington and across America. Unfortunately the Republicans have allowed the media, the current administration and the Democrats to advance the false narrative about what actually happens and cower in fear refusing to use the only real tool they have to stop the runaway train of destruction that has been unleashed.
If the Republicans were to pass a continuing resolution to temporarily fund the government and the president were to veto it one should know that “crucial services continue without interruption”. That is completely contrary to what is being advanced every time the budget comes up and the Republicans fail to articulate the counter to the leftist narrative and fear that is heaped on the public. There is no interruption in services necessary for national defense and law enforcement. Those services and payments that are mandatory such as Social Security and Veterans’ benefits continue uninterrupted contrary to the fear tactic used by the president.
Under Article I of the Constitution, “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in the consequence of appropriations made by law.” We have the Antidefenciency Law (ADA), which makes it illegal for federal officials to spend one dime in excess of appropriations or to obligate the government to enter into contracts before an appropriation has been passed to pay for the commitment or contract. This law prevents government employees from volunteering their services “free of charge” except in specific situations that affect, “the safety of human life or the protection of property”. That is so loosely interpreted it is almost meaningless.
WHAT DOES NOT SHUT DOWN?
The Congressional Research Service reports that there is an OMB memorandum for 1981 that gives examples of functions that continue during a funding lapse or “shutdown”.
- National security, including the conduct of foreign relations essential to the national security or the safety of life and property;
- Benefit payments and the performance of contact obligations under no-year or multi-year appropriations or other funds remaining available for those purposes;
- Medical care of inpatients and emergency outpatient care and activities essential for the safe use of food, drugs, and hazardous materials;
- Air traffic control and other transportation safety functions;
- Border and coastal protection and surveillance;
- Protection of federal lands, buildings, waterways, and other property of the U.S.;
- Care of prisoners and others in federal custody;
- Law enforcement and criminal investigations;
- Emergency and disaster assistance;
- Activities essential to the preservation of the money and banking system of the U.S., including borrowing and tax collection;
- Production of power and maintenance of the power distribution system; and
- Protection of research property.
In 2011 they went beyond those basic services and listed others that would continue. Truthfully most of the government would function and it would be business as usual during that time.
The key for the Republicans is that if they allowed funding to expire then it would be incumbent on the Democrats to find 60 votes in the Senate to refund those programs and if they could not the program could be allowed to die. Why not use the “power of the purse” and put the onus back on the Democrats rather than hiding in fear afraid of your own shadow. Do what you were elected to do!
God bless you and God bless America!