In signing the $900 billion pork-laden “stimulus” bill that was presented to him by the political establishment, President Donald Trump invoked a little-known law called the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, the implications of which have many people scratching their heads in confusion.
A public announcement from the president about his signing of the pork package revealed that he has decided to send it back to Congress with demands for “many rescissions,” such as the removal of the $25 million that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and others want to send to Pakistan for “gender” and “democracy” programs.
In his announcement, Trump explained how the Act provisions that:
“… whenever the President determines that all or part of any budget authority will not be required to carry out the full objectives or scope of programs for which it is provided, or that such budget authority should be rescinded for the fiscal policy or other reasons (including termination of authorized projects or activities for which budget authority has been provided), the President shall transmit to both Houses of Congress a special message” describing the amount to be reserved, the relevant accounts, the reasons for the rescission, and the economic effects of the rescission, citing 2. U.S.C. § 683.
Trump went on to explain that with his signing of the bill comes “a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed.” The president returned a “redlined version” of the bill back to Congress specifying “item by item” which funds, i.e. wasteful spending programs, need to be removed from it.
While it certainly sounds great on the surface, does Trump’s invocation of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 actually have any teeth? What we know so far is that Congress now has an obligation to either address and remove Trump’s redlined items or have funding for all of the redlined items in question frozen for 45 days.
“Put simply, if the President wants to spend less money than Congress provided for a particular purpose, he or she must first secure a law providing Congressional approval to rescind the funding in question,” reports Conservative U.S., citing Fox News as the original source. “The ICA requires that the President send a special message to Congress identifying the amount of the proposed rescission; the reasons for it; and the budgetary, economic, and programmatic effects of the rescission.”
In other words, Trump now has an opportunity to force the hand of Congress to either remove all the pork or face some unknown consequences. At the very least, some members of Congress who are on the verge of being replaced may feel compelled to take action rather than let the 45 days elapse because doing nothing would negatively impact them.
“Upon transmission of such a special message, the President may withhold certain funding in the affected accounts for up to 45 legislative session days. If a law approving the rescission is not enacted within the 45 days, any withheld funds must be made available for obligation,” Conservative U.S. further explains.
“Congress can ignore it and after 45 days the funds are released. And they have to be made available and ready before then anyway … In this case, they won’t ignore it.”
While there are still some uncertainties about how the whole thing will actually play out, it would appear as though Congress has now been coerced to act rather than do nothing because by the time 45 days passes, there will be a completely new Congress as well as potentially two new leaders of the House and Senate.
There is a good chance that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be ousted from her position, for instance. Representative-elects Cori Bush and Jamaal Bowman, two “progressives,” both deflected questions on CNN‘s “State of the Union” show about whether or not they would vote to keep Pelosi in her position – suggesting that they might be planning to oust her.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), a proud Democratic socialist, has been more forthcoming about her intentions, indicating that she will not be supporting Pelosi should the speaker choose to run again. According to AOC, there needs to be far more progressive leadership in the Democrat Party, and Pelosi is both corrupt and regressive.
“So this really puts them under pressure and it was a wonderful move from President Trump and his America First agenda,” Alex Hall reports.
You can read Trump’s Dec. 27 announcement about the ICA and the reasoning behind his signing of the “COVID-19 relief” bill at this link.
More of the latest news about the contested election and the tricks President Trump has up his sleeve can be found at Trump.news.
Sources for this article include: