OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Missouri Republican Rep. Jason Smith is calling for legal action from state attorneys general over Joe Biden’s decision to freeze appropriated funds for the border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
In a letter obtained by The Daily Caller, Smith, a top Republican on the House Budget Committee, believes Biden may have committed a serious violation.
When Biden froze border wall funds back in January, Smith argues that he may have violated the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, “which reasserted Congress’ sole authority over budgetary spending.”
“Rep. Jason Smith alleges in the letter, first obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation, that Biden’s January decision was a violation of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which reasserted Congress’ sole authority over budgetary spending. Smith argued that while the Government Accountability Office said that Biden’s change to a budget President Donald Trump signed into law was a ‘policy choice’ and not in violation, it has ruled differently on previous issues with different presidents,” The Daily Caller reported.
“As previous legal opinions from the GAO on similar matters have noted, the withholding of congressionally appropriated federal funds for a policy reason may result in a violation of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974,” Smith’s letter stated.
“As GAO’s opinion states, it is clear that Congress appropriated, and President Trump signed into law, funds specifically for the purpose of constructing a border barrier on multiple occasions,” Smith said in the letter.
“Allowing the Executive Branch to overreach and abuse the separation of powers by taking actions to circumvent congressional intent not only carries negative short-term effects but the potential for long-term abuses as well,” Smith continued.
Before Biden took office, billions of dollars were approved and set to be paid to private companies selected to finish Donald Trump’s border wall.
Not long after Biden’s decision, the Government Accountability Office launched a review to determine whether Biden’s decision to freeze the wall funds violated budget rules designed to keep Congress in control of the cash flow.
Many Republicans have criticized Biden’s immigration policies.
Former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Alexei Woltornist, who served in the Trump administration, is calling on Congress to investigate the Biden administration’s “cover-up” of the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy went off after visiting a massive facility overflowing with illegal immigrants, saying it was “worse than we thought.”
“Mr. President, our border patrol agents are overwhelmed, and they deserve the help of their federal government. I am calling on you to put politics aside. Let’s work together for the security of our nation and the betterment of our people,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell flat-out said that Biden “owns” the border crisis, and that, “It is, by definition, an emergency.”
“The previous administration did an excellent job on border security; this administration is stopping funding for the wall, as an example. How is that helpful?” he asked, rhetorically.
“Stopping the agreement with the Mexican government to contain people on the other side of the border? How is that helpful? This is a crisis. I don’t care what the Secretary of Homeland Security wants to call it; it’s a crisis.”
A report from CNN revealed that children detained in an overcrowded government-run tent facility at the US-Mexico border say they haven’t been able to shower for days or contact their parents.
Some children get to shower about once a week and sometimes soap runs out, with only shampoo available, she said. One child told Welch she hadn’t showered in six days.
Democrat West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin broke from Biden and called the migrant surge a crisis that needs to be fixed.
“Whatever message was sent — it was sure interpreted the wrong way,” he said. “It’s a crisis — oh it’s a crisis.”