Congress Can Pull Financial Rug from Under Obama’s Immigration Amnesty

David Martosko, Daily Mail, November 26, 2014

Conservatives in the U.S. Senate got a powerful weapon on Wednesday in the battle over whether they can pull the rug out from under President Barack Obama’s plan to mainstream millions of illegal immigrants into American life.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Republican’ top budget hawk, has unveiled a Nov. 21 memo from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) explaining that Congress can legally strip funding from America’s immigration enforcement agency–including funds the agency raises on its own through fees it charges Americans and foreigners.

That news will put fuel in the tank of right-wingers who want to paint Obama into a corner when the GOP controls both houses of Congress in January.

Citing ‘Congress’s constitutional power over the purse,’ the CRS–Capitol Hill’s official nonpartisan research arm–instructed Sessions that lawmakers can pick and choose what executive branch agencies can spend money on.

‘An agency is not free simply to disregard’ those orders, the memo read.

Some government agencies are funded by congressional ‘appropriations’ and others are ‘self-funded’ by fees, but the CRS memo indicates that Congress is in the driver’s seat no matter what.

That question had been left hanging in an internecine Republican feud that spilled out into news coverage and the blogosphere in the weeks since the midterm elections.

Sessions and other Senate conservatives argue in favor of ‘de-funding’ U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a subagency of the Homeland Security Department, in order to force an Obama administration retreat from what they term an ‘amnesty’ for more than 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally.

Moderates, led by House Appropriations Committee chair Hal Rogers of Kentucky, insist the gesture would be an empty one since the White House could legally thumb its nose at Congress by self-funding the agency.

USCIS will print and distribute green cards and work authorization cards for the millions of immigrants likely to benefit from Obama’s executive order, announced last week. Those cards and other documents will cost money–arguably bringing in more than the agency needs–even if congressional Republicans try to freeze it out.

Rogers cautioned last Thursday, after Obama unveiled his unprecedented immigration plan, that since ‘Congress does not appropriate funds for any of [USCIS’s] operations . . . the Appropriations process cannot be used to “de-fund” the agency.’

Obama’s immigration bureaucracy, he argued, ‘has the ability to continue to collect and use fees to continue current operations, and to expand operations as under a new Executive Order, without needing legislative approval.’

Rogers, multiple Capitol Hill sources confirmed Wednesday, is focused on passing a so-called ‘omnibus’ budget bill by December 11 when the current agreement funding the federal government expires–and has ignored pleas from his right to force-feed the White House a series of piecemeal bills instead.

While the normal appropriations procedure makes it difficult to seize control of fees that an agency like USCIS might use to plot its own course, a different maneuver–writing a short piece of legislation–would unlock what Congress needs.

The Congressional Research Service sided with Sessions.

Even if USCIS gets no money from Congress at all, the memo states, ‘the funds available to the agency through fee collections would be subject to the same potential restrictions imposed by Congress.’

‘Importantly,’ CRS adds, ‘amounts received as fees by federal agencies must still be appropriated by Congress to that agency in order to be available for obligation or expenditure by the agency.’


A senior aide to a conservative Republican House Appropriations Committee member told MailOnline on Wednesday that ‘this analysis means Hal Rogers is way off-base.’

‘This is no different from entrance fees charged by the National Parks,’ he said. ‘Congress can certainly tell the Interior Department what it can and can’t do with that money. Park rangers can’t just stick their tongue out at us and spend that money doing something Congress forbids, like giving tap-dance lessons to grizzly bears.’

‘If we could stop that, we can stop this.’

A second House aide said even if moderate Republicans weren’t sure they had the authority to stop USCIS from printing green cards with its own money, ‘they could just legislate that. It’s not hard.’

On the senate side, an aide close to the Budget Committee told MailOnline that the CRS report ‘should be the end of this technical debate.’

‘The report clearly says Congress can use the appropriations process to deny the funds needed to implement the president’s illegal amnesty and work authorization program,’ the aide said.

‘The GOP made a promise to midterm voters to battle this amnesty and secure their livelihoods. This has become yet more imperative following confirmations that legalized populations will draw Social Security and Medicare checks from American families.’

Sessions seemed ready to fight all 12 rounds last Thursday.

‘The House should send the Senate a government funding bill which ensures no funds can be spent for this unlawful purpose,’ he said Nov. 20.

On Wednesday his office sent MailOnline a statement insisting that ‘the suggestion that the White House can implement any unlawful and unconstitutional act so long as it pays for it with assessed fees is just plain wrong.’

‘There is no question that Congress has the power to block this expenditure and no doubt that it can be done,’ he said.

Even a potential lawsuit, CRS wrote, would likely tilt in favor of lawmakers who want to tie Obama’s hands.

A court ‘could find’ that a congressional restriction on Homeland Security spending ‘reached activities or agencies that were entirely fee-funded,’ according to the report.

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  • “Can”

    Which is not the same thing as “will.” If the Senate RINOs are successful in their behind closed doors campaign to keep Jeff Sessions from running Senate Budget, then the answer will be “will not.”

    A major campaign contributor to Hal Rogers is up for a Federal contract to print the cards and documents relating to Obama’s executive action on immigration. Already, various TPM groups in his district are auditioning primary challengers to him in 2016.

    • John Jackson

      Love it. Like you say they can, but they won’t.

    • Tom_in_Miami

      Hah! You’ll be waiting a long time for this to come to pass. None of our leaders wants to go against this president.

      • newscomments70

        It’s not just that. They want amnesty. They are overjoyed that Obama can take the blame. They will make some token, weak effort to stop him, intentionally failing.

        • maxsnafu

          You’re absolutely correct. Notice that Republicans criticize Obama NOT for what he did on immigration but for the way he did it. Most of the GOP is fully on board with open borders.

          • Johnny Squire

            Agreed. The Republicans criticism of Obama is for gullible ears. Nothing will come of their “opposition”.

          • Nicholas I

            US Party Politics explained: Jew controlled opposition to jew-controlled government.

          • Nicholas I

            All ZOG DC

        • Nicholas I

          “Democrats”/”Republicans”: Slaves of the jew.

          USA: ZOG.

          • newscomments70

            Both parties pander to everyone except the white middle class.

      • Jake Frizzell

        …or the Bilderburgers, Rothschilds, Warburgs, etc. Time for an American Revolution to throw out the invaders and ‘neutralize’ the traitors, enemy aliem fifth columnists.

    • Realist

      You are exactly right. The Republicans will grab their socks. They want the big money donations.

    • none of your business


  • propagandaoftruth

    This sounds great. When the going gets tough, the resourceful think outside the box and bypass the obstacle entirely.
    Whether it works or not, it’s something and refreshingly clever.

  • Luca

    If politicians can;t read the writing on the wall from the American People, I have little hope for the future. The pendulum must swing back right of center if we are to survive as a nation.

    Defund immigration, defund Obamacare, defund PBS, defund foreign aid, defund Housing and Urban development, defund EPA, and that’s just for starters.

    • Pathfinder75


      I think you should run for office,sir.That’s exactly the kind of thinking that we need in Washington.You’d have my vote.

      • kikz2

        i think we need to defund foreign aid.

        • Pathfinder75

          For starters.

          • kikz2

            ……….and to the “guests” that seem to follow me around.. get a freakin avatar.. you’re lazy and creepy…

        • none of your business

          Least of our problems. Let’s abolish the entire concept of giving federal and state money to non profits run by the likes of Sharpton, Foxman,Jackson, Time Wise et al.

    • JohnEngelman

      Forbes 11/21/2011

      A poll by Farleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey showed that of all the news channels out there, Fox News viewers are the least informed…

      Readers of The New York Times, USA Todayand listeners to National Public Radio were better informed about international events than other media outlets.

      • Sick of it

        I’m sure if they compared their results in New Jersey to other states, they would find the residents of New Jersey to be more ignorant in general.

        • JohnEngelman

          More ignorant than people in the deep South? I doubt it.

      • MBlanc46

        I’m not surprised that they’re better informed. But I’d wager a mortgage payment that they’re no less dogmatic in their opinions.

        • JohnEngelman

          I subscribe to The New York Times and to USA Today. I listen to National Public Radio every day.

          Several years ago I read an article in The New York Times that said that liberals and conservatives are equally prone to avoid exposure to political opinions that are not theirs. It said that liberals do not want to read anything that is bad about blacks or homosexuals.

          I have noticed that when I leave a comment on an editorial, column, or news story in the New York Times that is critical of blacks, it seldom is posted.

          • Epiminondas

            Same here.

      • Canadian Friend

        The New York Times published the address of police officer Wilson, is that what you mean by ” better informed” ?

      • Luca

        Yeah, because they soak up that liberal propaganda like a sponge. The cult of liberalism thrives on useful idiots. I read and watch stuff from various sources. I have learned that somewhere in the middle lies the truth. And that middle is usually right of center.

        • JohnEngelman

          I too get information from various sources. That is why I am here.

          • Luca

            The information that you gather and there sources are not as important as your ability to understand what is reasonably true and what is not.

            You tend to be like one of the blind men examining an elephant. Because you have one piece of information does not mean you are understanding the entire picture.

          • JohnEngelman

            You and I have different values and concerns. This does not mean that I am less well informed than you are. I think I do more to document my factual assertions than anyone here, although I may not be.

          • Luca

            During my career, I was well known for, and successful at being a problem solver. I would conduct investigations, gather information and weigh the evidence from various sources to identify specific problems and implement solutions.

            In my observation of your posts, you gather information and documentation that only supports your thesis or agenda and you post it to prove your point. You then gloat that you did your due diligence.

            There are plenty of people out there who will post evidence to support the theory the US moon landing was faked in Hollywood, 911 was conducted by the Israelis, or that Kennedy was killed by a secret service man with an M-14.

            It is not enough to gather information and post it as the truth. It has to be reasonable.

          • JohnEngelman

            I have frequently substantiated my arguments by quoting material I have found on this website, and by quoting people who have spoken at American Renaissance conferences.

          • Luca

            You are a liberal who has been beaten into a race realist. So on that one subject, based on your personal experience, you have validity.
            On other subjects, you cherry-pick facts, answer questions that have not been asked, change the subject or can’t respond to certain parts of arguments.

            Sticking to race realism would be advisable, on other subjects you sound like a propaganda minister. I appreciate you civility, but civility does not make you correct.

            This thread was about congressional powers and you injected something about a poll to degrade Fox News viewers.

            What was your purpose other than to get attention?

            They say the highest insult is to ignore someone.

          • JohnEngelman

            You advocated defunding PBS. I responded by pointing out that those who listen to it, like I am as I am typing these words, tend to be well informed.

          • none of your business

            He just lies. I am familiar with some of the places and eras he writies about and what he writes are just plain lies, lie after lie after lie.
            I wish the moderators would just ban him. He hates us goys. He lies.

          • none of your business

            I have been reading your assertions since you started posting. I am your age and spent much of my life in N. California. You have lied and lied and lied about San Jose and Silicon Valley, areas I have known quite well since 1968 to the present time.
            Every thing you have ever posted that I knew about is an outright lie.

          • JohnEngelman

            Calling me a liar is in insult. It is not a lie. You really believe it.

            Most people allow their likes and dislikes to influence their judgement of what is true and false. How we see a situation is influenced with what we look with.

          • Johnny Squire

            He is worse. He is trying to blind us as well. He is very accomplished in getting posters here arguing the minutiae of topics that have little or no relevance to the subject at hand.

          • Johnny Squire

            -“He is worse. He is trying to blind us as well. He is
            very accomplished in getting posters here arguing the minutiae of topics that
            have little or no relevance to the subject at hand.”

            I am not sure why my comment above was removed. It is relevant to the current conversation and moderate in comparison to the criticism he has received from other posters on this site. Regulars on this site are familiar with Mr. Engelman’s tactics and most take it with a polite grain of salt, as he is well-mannered to a fault though at times condescendingly so.

            Take, for example the posts on this current thread. As Luca has stated below, he has turned the topic from congressional powers to a poll that may or may not cater to the vanity of the pollsters and their audience. In the end Mr. Engelman had AmRen posters debating him as to whether he is better informed than the rest of us. I believe this deflection of topic is his goal nearly every he time comes to this site.

            Maybe he is bored and tries to change the subject to suit his interests or maybe enjoys the negative attention he receives by sabotaging comment threads? Who knows? What I want to know is why the moderator felt the need to protect Mr. Engelman from my mildly caustic criticism of his tendency to disrupt conversations on AmRen?

          • none of your business

            USAToday and the NYSlimes are nothing more than liberal propaganda. Why do you bother. You can get unbiased news about America from the English papers like the Telegraph and the Daily Mail. You do know that while Stalin starved 100 million Russian Christians the NYSlimes published years of “news” from American communist Walter Duranty the Slimes correspondent in Moscow that the massacres and famine was all a lie?
            Check out the murder of Kitty Genovese by a black man. Way back in I think 1955 the Slimes blamed the murder on the fact that her white neighbors did not wake up at 2/30am in time to call the police.
            The Slimes articles are full of outright lies. Anyone who believes a word of any NYSimes articles is a fool.

          • JohnEngelman

            The New York Times is one of the most prestigious newspapers in the English language. When The New York Times makes a mistake it prints a retraction.

            I wish The New York Times printed more news about black crime. Nevertheless, The New York Times does not lie. Rush Limbaugh has built a career telling angry white men lies they want to believe. FOX News won a lawsuit protecting its right to lie.

          • Who Me?

            Kitty Genovese was murdered in 1964.

        • JohnEngelman

          The middle is right of center? You must have failed geometry.

          • Luca

            “Somewhere” in the middle does not indicate nor is it identical to absolute dead center. When there is an extreme right, an extreme left and a center, right of center is the range I am talking about. And yes, that is somewhere in the middle.

            Did I really have to explain that? I shouldn’t have to.

            Your response indicates that you can not reason well on your own and need lots of direction.

          • DaveMed

            His meaning was pretty clear.

          • AnalogMan

            No, it’s quite simple. What he’s saying is that the leftward bias of the leftist media tends to be greater than the rightward bias of the rightwing media. Overall, the media reports are biased more to the left.

            “Middle” is not a geometric term. Just as in statistics, “middle” can be interpreted as “mean” or “median”, but they are only the same value in a normal distribution. So, what he’s saying is the news is skewed.

            But you already knew that, right?

          • JohnEngelman

            The mainstream media has an obligation to draw more attention to black crime, illegitimacy, and inferior academic performance.

      • Jo

        “better informed” about what? The truth or liberal brainwashing?

        • JohnEngelman

          New Jersey poll participants were questioned about the outcome of the so-called Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa earlier in the year. A total of 53% of respondents know that Egyptians were successful in overthrowing dictator Hosni Mubarak. Also, 48% know that the Syrian uprising has thus far been unsuccessful in ousting Assad. But on balance, Fox News viewers were 18-points less likely to know that Egyptians overthrew their government than those who were not TV news viewers. Fox News viewers were also 6-points less likely to know that Syrians have not yet overthrown their government than those who watch no news, suggesting a daily dose of sound bytes from CNN at the gym, and headlines from GoogleNews were enough to surpass what average Fox viewers polled knew about current events…

          On international news, Fox viewers were by far the least likely to know that the Egyptian protests led to the resignation of Hosni Mubarek.

          • none of your business

            The Egyptians did not overthrow their government. George Soros with the help of the American slave government did.
            What makes you think that White race realists and White advocates like us watch Fox anyway. It’s programs consist of blacks blathering away against gays and abortion. Huckabee does his old testament preacher imitation. O’Reilly insists that once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away, all blacks went to Church twice a week, all blacks got married before they had kids, all black men worked while the women stayed home to raise perfect kids, the kids went to school and learned and they were just a wonderful people until Lyndon Johnson gave them welfare.
            When you lump me with Fox viewers I feel insulted. There is more to politics and affairs than abortion and gays and gag barf, American patriotism.

          • JohnEngelman

            I see your point.

      • Amused

        “the campus offers a much more urban setting with only a short distance between it and New York City”…
        Suffers from proximity-driven agenda methinks!

      • Tom_in_Miami

        I suspect that readers of The New York Times, USA Today and listeners to National Public Radio are less likely to know or believe the findings presented in The Bell Curve too.

        • JohnEngelman

          That is almost certainly true. Several years ago I read an essay in The New York Times that said that liberals do not like to read bad things about blacks and homosexuals.

          When I submit a comment to The New York Times that is critical of blacks or homosexuals, it is seldom posted on The New York Times website.

      • AnalogMan

        By “better informed”, do you mean more able to repeat the content of NYTimes, USA Today and NPR news reports?

        Well, duh…

      • none of your business

        It is a university poll. That means it is biased against Fox and in favor of NPR and the NYSLIMES. Their conclusion on USAToday is ridiculous. That paper is for morons.
        All fox ever talks about is gays and abortion. It has more blacks blathering away than BET.

        • JohnEngelman

          In a political debate facts are important. The ability to determine credible sources of facts is important.

          This poll was reported in Forbes magazine. Forbes is a business magazine. Its owner, Steve Forbes ran in the Republican presidential election in 1996.

    • Paleoconn

      Defund Dep of Education, Homeland Security, TSA…

      • Who Me?

        And get our butts out of the UN!

    • AndrewInterrupted

      The Repugs lost their nerve the last time they discovered their
      defunding powers, calling a government operating at 87% a “shut-
      down”. The better have grown a pair since.

      Didn’t they decide that something like 90% of the EPA employees
      were “non-essential”? Personally, I’d closethe EEOC before the EPA.
      That agency is Hate-on-White, Inc.

      • none of your business

        Conservatives are against the EPA. Race realists and White advocates like me are against the EEOC and the entire civil rights division of the justice department.

    • Tom_in_Miami

      Defunding is the only way to stop this madness.

    • none of your business

      How about abolish HUD, abolish education department, abolish the most of the justice department including but not limited to the civil rights division and similar state government departments.

  • Fed Up

    Let’s hope Congress does end this obscenity by Obama.

    I mean seriously now, do we, or are we as a nation obligated to bring in and support every last Mexican or Latin-American wishing to come here? Do we White Americans and White Europeans have to turn our respective nations into the world’s trash cans? Allowing in and supporting any and every third-worlder wanting a free ride?

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      It falls under the broad category of “white privilege.”

    • Ringo Lennon

      It’s gonna get a lot worse. You ain’t seen nuffin yet.

  • ShermanTMcCoy

    But they won’t.

    • JohnEngelman

      Evaluate Congressional Republicans by what they achieve, rather than what they say. I support what they say. I question the sincerity of many of them. The business community has always dominated the Republican Party. Businessmen want more immigrants, so that they can lower wages while raising prices.

      Nevertheless, most immigrants vote Democrat. Democratic politicians like to raise business taxes and impose more regulations on businessmen.

      The ideal situation for businessmen would be to admit more immigrants, while denying them citizenship rights. Watch and see of Congressional Republicans accept this as a compromise with the Democrats.

      • none of your business

        Are you channeling your 1930’s FDR worshipping parents or grandparents?
        The Republicans are not the party of the rich. The demorats are the party of the super rich and people worth tens of billions. Times have changed John, they changed about 50 years ago. Any idea how much Richard Blum, Senator Feinstein’s husband is worth John? About 60 billion John most of it made in Chinese slave labor camps.
        What party gets the most $25.00 or less contributions John? The Republicans. George Soros, Peter Lewis, Bill Gates, Paul Allen, all the multi billionaires are demorats.

        • JohnEngelman

          The Republican Party exists to advance the economic interests of the richest ten percent of the country. Since the election of Ronald Reagan Republicans have been very good at that.

          Who votes Republican does not matter. Who benefits matters. I don’t.

  • dave

    Congress “can” impeach Obama too, but they won’t because they are afriad of the “R” word and upsetting the outstanding citizens of the minority communities. Once January comes, you will see very little change from the RINO”S, I mean Republicans, if any.

    Ferguson will still be buring and the RINO’s, I mean Republiucans will still be pandering.

  • Or….the state legislatures could call for a constitutional convention of the state legislatures. During such a constitutional convention the states could amend the constitution and put all immigration power in the hands of the states.

    The GOP controls ALMOST enough state legislatures right now to do that.

    But neither the Dissident Right nor the GOP is interested in discussing this topic.

    I wonder why…

    • Sick of it

      The state governments are too crooked to trust with a constitutional convention.

  • Though this story concerns the working of the elected American legislature, it’s no surprise to me that we have to resort to England’s Daily Mail to read about it.

  • Nicholas I

    Don’t mention The Jew!

  • Nicholas I

    Learn from “JohnEngelman” — you can comment away here day after day after day, hour after hour, going on and on and on — as long as you never mention The K*** (except to defend it, and have k***-truth comments “flagged” and censored).

  • Nicholas I

    Test: muz, Xtian, cracker, honky, negro, paki, gyppo, slanteye, k***

  • Nicholas I

    Jews are at the front line of defending America!

  • Nicholas I

    Jews are at the front line of destroying America!

    • Whitesneedtobebrave

      They hate the Christian west, but want to live here and leach off the system and also want the Christian west to help Israhell when they are in trouble.

  • Daniel

    There is only one thing I’m sure of.
    The suicidal, nihilistic destruction impulse of the DEMS is only exceeded by ONE thing:
    The complete and total cowardice of the debased she-males of the REP party.
    This we can depend on.

  • mobilebay

    Still wondering…if his Lordship wants to protect 5 milliion of those who sneaked in, what happens to the other 20-30 million? Will they be deported? We know better than that, don’t we? Everyone gets to stay. Fiesta time! Just one of the little details O. forgot to mention.

  • Private_Eyescream

    Me, I’d do TWO things.
    First, I’d DEFUND the Immigration Offices by allowing them to only raise money by selling gumballs at 1 penny per gumball with a maximum allowed daily sales of 10 gumballs.
    Very clear cut, hard to weasel around it.

    Secondly I would create a NEW Immigration Office split into branches of Containment / Investigation / Deportation / Amputation (all Criminal Invaders would have one limb removed per immigration violation including their children) / and Execution (for eliminating permanently those Criminal Invaders that have committed serious crimes while in this nation = rape, kidnapping, theft, auto theft, robbery, murder, torture — no trial would be required, merely an arrest report for that crime).

    • Nicholas I

      Just deport Congress, Supreme Court, and all the crew at the White House to Gaza.

  • Ringo Lennon

    Lots of people don’t live near any substantial number of Hispanics, mostly Mexicans. Like a guy from Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, etc. they don’t have to worry about the invasion. It’s kind of a luxury.

    • IstvanIN

      Anyone who thinks they are safe from the invasion is insane. The Mexicans are in Alaska for pity sakes.

      • Ringo Lennon

        How many Mexicans live in Kentucky? If I’m a Kentucky dude, I’m thinking, what invasion?

        • IstvanIN

          People should learn to read. I would bet their are enough Mexicans, as well as other excrement, to concern anyone with half a brain.

      • Mary

        Alaska, Northern New England (I’ve heard), and in the most unlikely parts of the rural South ( I know). They’ve literally fanned out throughout the entire country. And now it’s set to get much, much worse.