The Blaze: One Congressman Has a Plan to Ensure Obama’s Executive Actions on Guns Carry No Weight Without Approval of Congress


from The Blaze by Chris Enloe

Congressman John Culberson (R-Texas) has a plan to ensure that President Barack Obama’s latest executive actions on guns don’t interfere with the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans.

Culberson, who chairs the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations, recently sent a letter to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Deputy Director Thomas Brandon, informing him that without the approval of his committee and Congress, Obama will not be able to unilaterally implement executive action that is inconsistent with existing law.

“As Chairman of the Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee, I have the authority and the duty to ensure that our hard-earned tax dollars are spent to enforce the law as written by Congress,” Culberson began in the letter.

“Section 534 of the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Act, 2016 requires ATF to submit a spending plan for the fiscal year, and section 505 of the Act establishes the procedures for reprogramming funding,” he wrote. “These powerful tools are available to the Appropriations Committee through the power of the purse vested in Congress by Article I, Section 9: ‘No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.’”

Culberson went on to remind Brandon that he and his committee are very powerful, reminding the deputy director that during the 2016 fiscal year appropriations cycle, the ATF proposed banning the popular .223 rifle ammunition round, but after objections from Culberson’s subcommittee, the ATF dropped their proposal.

“Going forward, the ATF must reassure the nation that honest Americans have no reason to be concerned about these new regulations, or I will be compelled to object to portions of the ATF spending plan and to disapprove requests to reprogram spending within the agency,” he said. “Every federal agency under the jurisdiction of the CJS Appropriations Subcommittee has a long history of complying with objections made by chairmen, and I am optimistic that Deputy Director Brandon will be able to reassure the nation that ATF will leave law-abiding Americans alone and that they will focus their efforts exclusively on criminals.”

“It is also important for the Department of Justice and the White House to know that I added Section 740 to the Financial Services and General Government Act, 2016 to nullify the effect of the President’s budget proposal,” the congressman added. “My language prohibits appropriated dollars from being ‘used to increase, eliminate or reduce funding for a program, project, or activity as proposed in the President’s budget request for a fiscal year until such proposed change is subsequently enacted in an appropriation Act, or unless such change is made pursuant to the reprogramming or transfer provisions of this or any other appropriations Act.’”

“Therefore, any proposal made by President Barack Obama tonight in his State of the Union that costs money has to be approved by the Appropriations Subcommittee chairmen of jurisdiction in a reprogramming request until and unless the President’s proposal is approved by Congress in the new appropriation Act and signed into law,” he went on to say.

“My budget language will help Congress stop President Obama’s repeated attempts to rule this nation by Executive Order,” Culberson concluded. “Every federal agency under my jurisdiction must enforce the law as written by Congress if they expect to earn the privilege of spending the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people.”

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