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Charlotte, NC – When President Trump announced that he was signing the coronavirus stimulus package and the government spending bill on Sunday evening, I, like many Americans, was confused about his tactics. Trump stated that he would use the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 in an attempt to get Congress to drop what he called “wasteful spending” to get them to boost the coronavirus stimulus checks up to the levels that he demanded last week.
What is Trump Missing?
For those Americans that are in need and supporting Trump’s efforts to get $2,000 checks into your bank accounts, you may be quite excited about the President’s position. However, for those conservatives in this country that worry about the additional 2-trillion dollars being added to the national debt, and the unnecessary and frivolous spending of House and Senate Democrats and Republicans, your concern is understandable.
During his tenure as President, Trump has made it a point to be a thorn in the side of congressional leadership on both sides of the aisle. The problem now, Trump has lost most of his support in both the House and Senate, as many congressional leaders see him as a president out-the-door in less than 30-days. This brings me to Trump’s use of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which he touted was his control-arm over congressional spending. In reality, he does nothing to curb spending or put him in control of budget items contained in the new COVID relief bill.
So, what does the Impoundment Control Act do?
The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (ICA) reasserted Congress’s purse power. It established procedures to prevent the President (not Congress) and other government officials from unilaterally substituting their own funding decisions for those of the Congress.
In 1974, Congress passed the ICA in response to President Nixon’s executive overreach – his Administration refused to release Congressionally appropriated funds for specific programs he opposed. The ICA created a process the President must follow if he seeks to delay or cancel funding that Congress has provided.
As laid out in the ICA’s president procedures, the Act divides impoundments into two categories: rescissions and deferrals. With Trump wishing to dispute “wasteful congressional spending” contained within the new COVID bill, he would still have to secure a low providing Congressional approval to rescind the funding in question and force President Trump to send a special message to Congress identifying the amount of the proposed rescission.
In Trump’s official message on Sunday, and per the outline and procedure of the ICA, Trump can withhold specific funding of the COVID relief bill for up to 45-days. However, with Biden’s possible inauguration in 23-days, whatever tactic Trump is attempting to play, it would appear that his action to curb wasteful spending is too little, too late.
Many Trump supporters across America anticipate January 6’s joint-congressional session, where electoral votes from the 2020 election will be counted. Despite numerous court attempts, the “official electorate count” remains Biden with 306 and Trump 232.
At 1 p.m. on January 6, lawmakers from the House and Senate will assemble in the House chamber with Vice President Pence presiding. Many in America believe that V.P. Pence, as President of the Senate, will decide not to certified each state’s official votes due to fraud in the 2020 Election. Moreover, many conservatives across the country believe that Trump’s stance on congressional spending on the COVID relief bill will influence Pence and other Republicans to demand that Congress admit that voter fraud occurred in the recent election and that Trump was cheated on his reelection.
A member from the House and the Senate must object, in writing, for it to be considered. Newly elected Sen. Tommy Tuberville of Alabama has indicated that he would support an objection to the electorate results. However, it would require a majority in both the House and the Senate for the protest to succeed – a move that is most likely dead-on-arrival.
So, with all of these circumstances, what more can Trump do? Moreover, is all of Trump’s online scare tactics strategy or social media fluff to rally his supporters to combat a Biden administration?
Personally, Donald Trump would have gotten more support from his supporters by vetoing the bill in its entirety, rather than playing fast and loose with 46-year-old budgetary control legislation. I am not concerned about $600 or $2,000; instead, I am more concerned about our political system’s current state. From the top-down, politicians continue to pander to ensure their power and rally support their last-ditch efforts to maintain the office.
The chips are down for Donald Trump, and he has sat way too long to cash them in.
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