A lengthy new Congressional report is accusing the Obama administration of illegally spending $7 billion taxpayer dollars on Obamacare without U.S. House approval.
U.S. House Republicans who led two committee investigations released the report on Thursday after conducting an extensive investigation of government spending on Obamacare, The Daily Caller reports. According to the report, the Obama administration spent $7 billion taxpayer dollars on a cost-sharing reduction program in Obamacare without the permission of Congress.
“The power of the purse lies with Congress …” the committees said in the report. “This action is a clear constitutional violation of the most fundamental tenet of appropriations law.”
This isn’t the first time the Obama administration has been accused of executive overreach. A few weeks ago, the pro-abortion president’s administration allowed California to force churches to pay for abortions based on a flawed interpretation of the Weldon Amendment, which is supposed to protect religious objectors from paying for abortions.
The Congressional leaders said they began investigating the Obama administration’s actions in February 2014 and found that it did violate the checks and balances of the Constitution when it spent the taxpayer money without Congressional approval.
A federal judge already agreed with the House Republicans’ assessment of the spending as a violation of the Constitution; however, the Obama administration is challenging the ruling, according to The DC.
Here’s more from the report:
The administration argued they were within constitutional jurisdiction in allocating funds because they had prior authority to fund a tax credit program, and all funds for CSR were drawn from this shared pot.
However, the report includes a 2012 Treasury Department memo to the White House Office of Management and Budget stating, “there is currently no appropriation to Treasury or to anyone else, for purposes of the cost-sharing payments to be made,” and that funding for the program can only occur “in connection with whatever statute ultimately appropriates funds for the cost sharing program.”
“Nothing in the ACA provides an appropriation or a source of funding for the CSR program. Therefore, the Administration needed to request an appropriation from Congress to make CSR payments to insurance companies,” the report states.
U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the Obama administration is “stealing from the American people – plain and simple.”
The committee accused the Obama administration of “relentless efforts to obstruct” its investigation, including ignoring Congressional subpoenas. Some of the subpoenas remain unanswered, the committee said.
“The position of the Administration – that it can unilaterally block from disclosure to Congress the answer to any questions that seeks internal or inter-agency communications, or any undefined ‘confidentiality interest,’ or even a fact that it does not want Congress to know – effectively exempts the entire Executive branch from congressional oversight,” the report states.
The committee said the Obama administration knew it could not use the money to fund the program. Based on the evidence the committee uncovered, it appears that the Obama administration intentionally tried to skirt the law. As the news outlet explains:
After the 2012 memo notified the administration that they were currently no funds to run the CSR program, the administration applied for $4 million to fund CSR in 2013.
A year later the funding appeal was withdrawn over the phone — a move that is “highly unusual” for something so formal — partially due to concerns that they would not receive the $4 million.
The Obama administration then produced a OMB legal memo, granting themselves jurisdiction to fund [the cost-sharing program] through tax credits. High level IRS-officials raised concerns over this payment model and the report claims that committees were not provided a copy of the memo for prior review.
The shocking new report leaves pro-lifers questioning what else the Obama administration may be doing behind closed doors, particularly when it comes to helping its allies in the abortion industry. For example, after promises that Obamacare would not fund abortions, a 2014 report from Government Accountability Office found otherwise.
Despite a promise President Obama made to lawmakers and the American public in a special joint session of Congress on healthcare reform that, “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion,” the 2014 report released by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) documented massive new public funding of abortion in the President’s healthcare law.
GAO found that in 2014, taxpayers funded more than a thousand Obamacare health plans that subsidize abortion on demand—even late-term abortion—in defiance of the Hyde Amendment that Obama publicly said he would honor.
The GAO report also found that nearly all of the insurance issuers sampled were not itemizing the required separate abortion surcharge on its bills – confirming that the Obama Administration is ignoring the law’s abortion accounting gimmick.
The Obama administration responded with a promise to educate states on not funding abortions and said the reports claims are not entirely true. However, pro-life groups investigating the situation reported a disturbing “lack of transparency” on the Obama administration’s part.