State Department gives half a billion to a UN climate fund without congressional approval; media shrugs
But it's okay, citizen, cuz he claims to have a great defense: He says congress didn't explicitly pass a law barring him from doing that.
And of course his state-run media have repeatedly told you--without a shred of evidence--that he's a "constitutional scholar," so he must have special insight on that document, right?
At the center of the dispute is whether the State Department had the authority to shift funds from an existing, congressionally-authorized, program. The Obama administration – without congressional approval -- has committed the U.S. to contributing $3 billion to the fund.
Along with Gardner, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., maintains Congress has not allocated any funding for what he calls the “international climate change slush fund” and has in fact “prohibited the transfer of funds to create new programs.”
The State Department acknowledges that paying half a billion bucks to the U.N. wasn't approved by Congress – but State (thus, implicitly, Obama) goes on to argue that it nevertheless had the authority to give taxpayer cash to the U.N. because...wait for it...Congress didn't explicitly prohibit giving the money to the U.N. fund.
Of course that's not how the Constitution says the process is supposed to work, but that's never stopped your emperor before.
Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a week ago, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom told the committee the funds were diverted from the department’s Economic Support Fund -- which provides economic funding to foreign countries -- to the GCF after a full review by department lawyers.
Didja catch that, citizen? The lawyers--very objectively and fairly, no doubt--allegedly decided that the Constitution doesn't mean what it explicitly says. Which is: "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law."
Some gutsy reporter might ask the emperor if he thinks Article I Section 9 of the Constitution is the law of the U.S. My guess is no reporter will ever ask, of course. Gotta protect the Preciousss and the Dem party at all costs.
State Department spokeswoman Katherine Pfaff also confirmed that the source of the funding was the economic fund, but could not say from which exact program the money came. And she directly addressed the GOP senators’ charge: “Did Congress authorize the Green Climate Fund? No.”
Now, with the first half-billion gone, the administration has asked congress for another $750 million for the GCF in its fiscal 2017 budget. Which is how the Constitution says the emperor is supposed to do things. But of course the emperor gets a free pass on the first half a billion bucks, I guess cuz he's half-black, or the great uniter, or some other weird bullshit.
Higginbottom also insisted that neither State nor the administration were required even to notify Congress about the transfer from the Economic Support Fund. Cuz the money was just, y'know, transferred from one account to the other before being spent. So that makes it, like, totally fine.
"Experts" friendly to the emperor carried water for him by claiming that because Congress did not include specific language barring giving money to the GCF, it was okay. They claim this dispute could have been avoided if only Congress had simply bothered to include a specific prohibition on spending for the climate fund.
Of course you think I must be kidding--that no intelligent adult could seriously claim that the only way congress could bar a crazed emperor from spending money congress never authorized would be for congress to specifically pass a law barring that exact expenditure. It's insane, in part because there's no way to know what the emperor might be planning to do. But here's H. Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the Heartland Institute:
There was not a specific line item in the budget prohibiting spending on the GCF.... it would not be an issue if Congress had explicitly prohibited it.Okay, sure, that's just a non-government "expert." The administration itself would never make such an obviously insane claim. Oh wait, here's Obama press secretary Josh Earnest last December:
There are no restrictions in our ability to make good on the president’s promise to contribute to the Green Climate Fund.Gardner and Barrasso also were signatories to a letter sent last year to Obama asserting the deal reached at a United Nations climate change conference in Paris, including the $100 billion-a-year Green Climate Fund, would have to be submitted to Congress and approved before the administration could pay any money to the fund.
Cute, huh. Insane perversion and violation of what used to be called the "supreme law of the land." But that's what your Constitution-shredding emperor has brought you. Hope you're enjoying it.
Oh, and I hope your kids and grandkids appreciate your support of his wasted spending. Cuz you sure as hell saddled 'em with the debt, eh?