WH wants transfer authority on appropriations?

posted at 10:55 am on December 3, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Congress passed another continuing resolution yesterday that will keep the government in operation for another two weeks, allowing the White House to keep negotiating for a budget plan while Democrats remain in charge in the House.  That, however, is really a secondary story.   Politico reports on a quiet development that could throw a wrench into the works even with Democrats in charge — and which would, if implemented, severely distort the checks and balances on power in Washington (emphasis mine):

A two-week stopgap spending bill cleared Congress Thursday night, averting a threatened shutdown Friday and buying time for the White House to try to salvage some year-end agreement after the collapse of the budget process.

The action came as the administration sent to the Capitol more than 50 funding adjustments it wants considered as part of what would be a stripped-down appropriations package for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year ending Sept. 30.

Many agencies would be left frozen at their current spending levels, but the documents indicate the White House is seeking more than $11.4 billion in new spending above 2010, chiefly for foreign aid and defense accounts as well as education initiatives and housing assistance for low-income tenants. The administration also wants to a remarkably open-ended authority to transfer funds between accounts — a power that is sure to be resisted by the Appropriations Committee leadership.

This is what’s known as “burying the lead” in journalism.  A Republican House will have the “power of the purse” to put an end to executive branch overreach — for instance, the efforts at the EPA to create carbon caps outside of Congressional authorization, the FCC’s attempts to regulate the Internet, and so on.  That power is a key part of the checks and balances in federal government, forcing agencies to account for themselves and their behavior to Congress, and putting limits on executive authority to issue orders for regulation without Congressional approval.

Politico doesn’t discuss the breadth of the “remarkably open-ended authority” Barack Obama wants to transfer funds between accounts, but I doubt that the White House interest in winning that power at this precise moment in time is coincidental.  They know that Republicans plan on using the power of the purse to keep the Obama administration from abusing its power and making end-runs around the legislature.  It all but demands a blank check from Congress as a budget plan and ends their ability to direct funding as it sees fit.  It’s a carte blanche for runaway executive power.

Senate Republicans must pledge to filibuster any budget with that kind of authority built into it.  In fact, every member of Congress should protest this demand to surrender the Constitutional prerogative of budgeting and the check on power it represents.  Otherwise, they will consign the people’s branch to a mere rubber stamp for executive whims.


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This is preparation for a possible GOP refusal to raise the federal debt limit. If the GOP blocks an increase in the debt ceiling, the Obama Administration wants to transfer funds from less desirable agencies/accounts to use in activities the administration views in a more favorable light.

Such as, taking DOD funds and using them to continue unemployment benefits.

Skandia Recluse on December 3, 2010 at 10:59 AM

If this thing passes, it means that when it comes to Executive branch spending, there is no accounting nor accountability, there is no check on what the White House does, none. It is like giving a drug addict a limitless line of credit, and asking no questions, such as “whatcha spending the money on, bro?”

Why am I not at all surprised that this is being considered by this Administration?

coldwarrior on December 3, 2010 at 10:59 AM

I am really getting tired of asking the question “What if Bush did this?”

HawaiiLwyr on December 3, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Naked Power Grab the hall mark of the Progressive….what was all that talk about identifying as a Blue Dog Democrat?

Dr Evil on December 3, 2010 at 10:59 AM

A. Chicago trash

B. “The administration also wants to a remarkably open-ended authority to transfer funds between accounts”

Really, what could go wrong?

MNHawk on December 3, 2010 at 11:01 AM

White House is seeking more than $11.4 billion

The way this Administration spends money really how long would 11.4 Billion last in their pockets? 15 minutes top?

Dr Evil on December 3, 2010 at 11:01 AM

unfreakinbelievable….

and the msm crying foul when they thought W was overreaching….

cmsinaz on December 3, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Hugo Chavez approves.

This is nothing less than fascism. It subverts the long held American traditional & constitutional separation of powers. In essence, Dear Liar wants His personal slush fund, to be used to buy votes for the next election. With help on the sidelines from people like Tom Friedman, these Fascist-Democrats (the donkey party is no longer the party of Scoop Jackson or Sam Nunn) want to destroy democracy and put in place an unelected elite to rule over us.

rbj on December 3, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Unprecedented!

Rocks on December 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

By any means necessary.

John Deaux on December 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

will someone from the gop please scream about this on every msm show they go on today….

cmsinaz on December 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

The Hugo Chavez School of Presidential Policy

gitarfan on December 3, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Once again, just apply the “WIGBTI rule”. That is, “what if George Bush tried it”? Front page, above the fold, NY Times outrage.

The bad faith of this administration is bottomless, and the quiescance of the media is limitless.

rrpjr on December 3, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Wasn’t it Glenn Beck who predicted that the Congress was in danger of giving up its authority to the White House?

I’m also reminded of his show this week on ancient Rome. The kept the Senate in place, to preserve the illusion that Rome was still a republic. But the Emperor was making all of the decisions that mattered.

hawksruleva on December 3, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Bull . . . he wants to have one large slush fund to pay for his Marxist agendas. If he moves funds without prior congressional authority he should be charged with a violation of the Antideficiency Act.

rplat on December 3, 2010 at 11:06 AM

On the bright side, there wouldn’t be any need for appropriation bills for each department, and that would be a defacto end to earmarking.

Yay!

BobMbx on December 3, 2010 at 11:07 AM

As a Constitutional Scholar and Professor, I’m surprised that Obama doesn’t know that this is unconstitutional. Three branches of government were set up just to stop overextending and abuses by one particular branch. Perhaps He taught an introductory course.

Tommy_G on December 3, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Unprecedented!

Rocks on December 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Unconstitutional!

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM

I believe this all a part of Obama’s triangulation strategy.

30 pcs of silver on December 3, 2010 at 11:12 AM

As a Constitutional Scholar and Professor, I’m surprised that Obama doesn’t know that this is unconstitutional. Three branches of government were set up just to stop overextending and abuses by one particular branch. Perhaps He taught an introductory course.

Tommy_G on December 3, 2010 at 11:10 AM

He was a part-time adjunct.

Wethal on December 3, 2010 at 11:13 AM

will someone from the gop please scream about this on every msm show they go on today….

cmsinaz on December 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Watch this space.

About the only place where you’ll see an unbridled asswhooping directed at Teh One.

turfmann on December 3, 2010 at 11:14 AM

and the msm crying foul when they thought W was overreaching….

cmsinaz on December 3, 2010 at 11:02 AM

They didn’t “think” W was overreaching. It was pure propaganda. It’s a key distinction.

The Mega Independent on December 3, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Unconstitutional.

Impeach, stat. Or use the 25th Amendment. President Biden is a big improvement over this un-American fascist POS.

NaCly dog on December 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM

The line-item veto was an unconstitutional delegation of power to another branch.

One would think this is similar. But then, it’s a “living constitution” to the lefties.

Wethal on December 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM

As a Constitutional Scholar and Professor, I’m surprised that Obama doesn’t know that this is unconstitutional. Three branches of government were set up just to stop overextending and abuses by one particular branch. Perhaps He taught an introductory course.

Tommy_G on December 3, 2010 at 11:10 AM

I think you’re assuming the subject of his coursework was the US Constitution. There are no facts to support that conclusion.

BobMbx on December 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM

anti-Constitutional.

Not unconstitutional, this is ANTI Constitutional.

We the People did not delegate this power to Article II.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

the documents indicate the White House is seeking more than $11.4 billion in new spending above 2010, chiefly for foreign aid and defense accounts as well as education initiatives and housing assistance for low-income tenants.

this power is not delegated to the president. If he wants to exercise control over spending and education inititives in 2011, then he can resign his seat and run for another seat in the US senate where this power would then be available to him through Article I of the US Constitution, a document that he swore upon a Bible to support and defend.

ted c on December 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Unprecedented!

Rocks on December 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Unconstitutional!

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Unconscionable!

ElectricPhase on December 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Will do turfmann….thanks

cmsinaz on December 3, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Zero’s ability to take money from one pocket and put it into another pocket will be out in the open. This will be as huge as the Fed picking our pocket to finance the IMF without asking Congress first. The elected representatives really are getting to be obsolete just like the Constitution they all ignore.

Kissmygrits on December 3, 2010 at 11:17 AM

He was a part-time adjunct.

Wethal on December 3, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Thank you for clearing that up!
Tommy_G made him sound like he was Justice Learned Hand.

Jenfidel on December 3, 2010 at 11:17 AM

Disgusting power grab. This is turning into a national nightmare.

I never thought I would reach a point in my lifetime where I found an administration to be so dangerous, ideological, and tone deaf that I considered every day a fight for the soul of America. I never thought, as a purely moderate/centirst individual that I would end up aligning myself sooooo closely with those on the hard right such as Sean Hannity or even, dare I say, El-Rushbo, in seeing our contry under attack from WITHIN our own White House.

I am not a troll, I am not trying to post inflammatory comments, nor am I trying to overreact to our present situation. Yet, as an educated man, when I see such vulgar displays of contempt from the leader of the free world towards every day American citizens or, in this case, the fundamental principles of the Constitution and its SEPERATION OF POWERS, how can someone like me not be nervously concerned?

Indy82 on December 3, 2010 at 11:18 AM

this is a measure to maintain control that the WH maintains through a democratically controlled congress. It is by-proxy control, but it cannot continue. The election was a restraining order, and this power grab continues. The convict is writhing in his handcuffs and trying to kick out the windows of the police car.

not surprised.

ted c on December 3, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Unconstitutional.

Impeach, stat. Or use the 25th Amendment. President Biden is a big improvement over this un-American fascist POS.

NaCly dog on December 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM

I’m beginning to not have a problem with this at all.

Jenfidel on December 3, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Unprecedented!

Rocks on December 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Unconstitutional!

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Unconscionable!

ElectricPhase on December 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

and completely UNacceptable.

with all of these “UN” statements floating around, it’s appearing that’s what he wants…..a job at the UN.

ted c on December 3, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Point taken mega indie

cmsinaz on December 3, 2010 at 11:19 AM

turfmann on December 3, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Why would Sarah Palin want to help Congress out? And for those of you screaming about the dubious constitutionality of this maneuver, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what a GOP Congress tried to give Bill Clinton back in the mid ’90s. Namely, the Line-Item Veto. SCOTUS told Congress you could only do so via the Amendment process.

Oh, and Democrats: Be careful what you wish for, should you accede to this request.

BradSchwartze on December 3, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Senate Republicans must pledge to filibuster any budget with that kind of authority built into it.

shut down the government for weeks rather than delegating this authority to the WH.

ted c on December 3, 2010 at 11:21 AM

…the breadth of the “remarkably open-ended authority” Barack Obama wants to transfer funds between accounts

Just glimpse of what’s to come in his remaining two years. The man is dangerous.

petefrt on December 3, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Unprecedented!

Rocks on December 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM
Unconstitutional!

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM
Unconscionable!

ElectricPhase on December 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

To quote one of my favorite movies…..INCONCEIVABLE! ;)

atlgal on December 3, 2010 at 11:22 AM

anyone that votes for this needs to be voted out of office. And I don’t think we should wait for the next election to do so.

unseen on December 3, 2010 at 11:22 AM

Chicagonomics.

portlandon on December 3, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Senate Republicans must pledge to filibuster any budget with that kind of authority built into it. 

They can’t, can they? If the Dems are stupid and short sighted enough to do this the Republicans can protest all they want but they can’t do anything to stop it because it only takes 50 +1 votes to pass a budget which this sort of language would be part of. It would be a Reconciliation vote. No filibuster.

This is truly scary.

lizzie beth on December 3, 2010 at 11:23 AM

No, means no! Yet, they continue on trying to find ways to circumvent laws and people’s will. This will not end well for them.

30 pcs of silver on December 3, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Bull . . . he wants to have one large slush Slurpee fund to pay for his Marxist agendas. If he moves funds without prior congressional authority he should be charged with a violation of the Antideficiency Act.

rplat on December 3, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Antideficiency Act? Is that a real act? Is that even a word? Seems oxymoronous.

ornery_independent on December 3, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Why would Sarah Palin want to help Congress out?

BradSchwartze on December 3, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Wrong question. If a Republican House were to veer off course, Palin will be happy to put a boot high heel in their butt just as she does with Obama, Pelosi, Reid…

She is just as brutal with Republicans as she is with Democrats.

turfmann on December 3, 2010 at 11:25 AM

I’d love to hear from Club for Growth and Citizens Against Government Waste regarding this. Not to mention, those ignorant “policy wonks” at RedState who think repealing the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 is such a swell idea, on the grounds that they think the executive branch should have a role to play.

You just know this outrage from the Obama maladminstration can be spun as a way to deal with “earmarks.”

BradSchwartze on December 3, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Unprecedented!

Rocks on December 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Unconstitutional!

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Unconscionable!

ElectricPhase on December 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

UNacceptable.

ted c on December 3, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Unexpected?
or should be expected?

dhunter on December 3, 2010 at 11:28 AM

Hey Tom Friedman, your guy is moving closer to Chinese-type rule all the time, be happy in your work.

I thought Bush was the new Fuhrer trying to cobble together an American fascist state?

Bishop on December 3, 2010 at 11:29 AM

He is just trying to work with the new Republican majority, I’m sure!
S/

dhunter on December 3, 2010 at 11:30 AM

turfmann on December 3, 2010 at 11:25 AM

Yes, and Palin would LOVE to use this weapon Obama has created to be brutal to those Republicans.

This is something fundamental, beyond Palin and Obama, beyone Republicans and Democrats, even beyond our high national debt.

BradSchwartze on December 3, 2010 at 11:30 AM

unseen at 11:22 has it right.
We’ll soon see if the Republican leadership blast this openly for what it is. They had better do so.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 3, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Why would Sarah Palin want to help Congress out?

BradSchwartze on December 3, 2010 at 11:20 AM

Because she knows her Constitution and loves it and knows that only Congress is delegated to have the “power of the purse.”
(This is true no matter what Newt’s Congress “gave” to Billy Jeff Blythe.)

Jenfidel on December 3, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Living proof there are more asses than Jackasses!

Caught ya Rush, you were wrong, he is simply an ass!

dhunter on December 3, 2010 at 11:31 AM

So let me see if I get this straight … The president wants to spend the people’s money without any interference from the people.

What could be wrong with that?

There still is this tiny problem, no Congress can bind future Congresses, no matter what the bill says.

tarpon on December 3, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Remember when the liberal media was upset when GW Bush was listening to everyone phone calls?

This guy is Hugo Chavez or Castro in a suit.

dthorny on December 3, 2010 at 11:33 AM

This is something fundamental, beyond Palin and Obama, beyone Republicans and Democrats, even beyond our high national debt.

BradSchwartze on December 3, 2010 at 11:30 AM

It’s a potential case for impeachment and is blatantly unConstitutional as it seeks to nullify our separation of powers.
It could be the first big step to the establishment of a Hugo Chavez-like dictatorship.

Jenfidel on December 3, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Unprecedented!

Rocks on December 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Unconstitutional!

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Unconscionable!

ElectricPhase on December 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

UNacceptable.

ted c on December 3, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Unexpected?
or should be expected?

dhunter on December 3, 2010 at 11:28 AM

UNsurprising

BobMbx on December 3, 2010 at 11:33 AM

Indy82 on December 3, 2010 at 11:18 AM

Welcome to the 48% Club.

The Founders in their wisdom saw this possibility way back then and did their best to circumvent the possibilities. I guess they never guessed that eventually a soulless worm would eventually be sitting in the White House.

Bishop on December 3, 2010 at 11:33 AM

BradSchwartze on December 3, 2010 at 11:30 AM

You are correct..NO PRESIDENT should have this kinda power!..:)

Dire Straits on December 3, 2010 at 11:35 AM

The Constitution is the sworn enemy of this WH.

MJBrutus on December 3, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Maybe Congress could just issue Obama a new credit card every year, with a $5-trillion limit on it. Maybe throw in a fixed $1000 minimum payment, for looks….

RBMN on December 3, 2010 at 11:39 AM

The Constitution is the sworn enemy of this WH.

MJBrutus on December 3, 2010 at 11:36 AM

This Whitehouse is the unsworn Enemy of the constitution and America!

Some have sworn an oath to defend against enemies domestic! About time they stepped up and ended this reign of terror!

dhunter on December 3, 2010 at 11:39 AM

They told him to to swear to “uphold” the Constitution, but he heard “oppose”.

The Mega Independent on December 3, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Worst. President. Ever.

No more comparisons to Jimmy Carter, please. Jimmy Carter was a peach compared to this guy.

RebeccaH on December 3, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Jenfidel on December 3, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Get your head out of the clouds, for once. Sarah Palin, should she be elected President, would be more than happy to take advantage of this sort of blank-check “transfer authority.” Repeat after me: This is a separation of powers issue. Sarah can easily tell Congress (regardless of party) where to screw themselves if she runs into a logjam with them.

Though she, or any future President, likely wouldn’t if this Congress is so ignorant and misguided to give Obama this. My native South Dakota had a Legislature that stood idly by while a sitting Governor asserted the ability to transfer budget monies between agencies, despite never directly asking for the ability to do so.

Result: A toothless South Dakota legislature that can barely tie its shoelaces without direction from the Governor and his staff.

BradSchwartze on December 3, 2010 at 11:39 AM

I don’t see this getting anything like the media coverage it needs. Not even on DRUDGE (yet). Our guys better start sounding the alarms and beating the drums, or this just might sneak through.

Tweet Glenn Beck. Hopefully El Rushbo will spotlight it this afternoon.

petefrt on December 3, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Maybe I’m showing my age, but does anyone here remember the blood-curdling screams from the media when then-President Richard Nixon “impounded” funds appropriated by a Democrat-controlled Congress for purposes he did not approve?

Not only is Obama “Carter on steroids”, but he’s more corrupt than Tricky Dick. He’s the Tricky Dick-tator.

Steve Z on December 3, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Chicagonomics.

portlandon on December 3, 2010 at 11:23 AM

Yep. It works for Hizzoner Da’ Mare Daley. Doesn’t work for most Chicagoans, but that isn’t important to the Machine.

kbfntc on December 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Obama’s goal is to eliminate checks and balances, and to achieve King status. This is serious stuff.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Sausage making is indeed an ugly sport.

Transparency!

juanito on December 3, 2010 at 11:52 AM

This is nothing. Heard about the FCC’s new plan for “testing” the media? Revealed in FCC chairman’s speech at Columbia School of Journalism yesterday. Terrifying. Come on, Hot Air, get up a thread!

And FCC’s recent hints at power grab of internet with or without congressional approval.

I’ve said it: the next two years will be a sequential, systematic assault on our freedoms, most especially our speech and our access to it. They intend to overwhelm the capacity for political response. Audacity and sheer repetition. Non-stop. As soon as we try to fill one hole in the dike, they’ll spring another. Always using “public good” or “public safety” as their pretense, and executive orders or regulatory fiat as the method. They MUST undermine Fox News (through their affiliates) and they MUST seize control of internet before 2012.

rrpjr on December 3, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Anyone wonder how much of that 11.4 billion would find its way into the coffers of zero’s campaign fund for reelection in 2012. Naaahh.

dragondrop on December 3, 2010 at 11:55 AM

It is many times worse because this administration avoids all steps of transparency. Obama is very sneaky.

seven on December 3, 2010 at 11:56 AM

I think you’re assuming the subject of his coursework was the US Constitution. There are no facts to support that conclusion.

BobMbx on December 3, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Exactly, he just made that up because it sounded good for political effect. Later when he was a visiting lecturer at a college in Illinois the best evidence we have indicates that he was teaching the one thing he seems to know, Alinsky’s methods of rabble-rousing.

slickwillie2001 on December 3, 2010 at 11:57 AM

rrpjr at 11:52
You have it exactly right. Obama has 2 years in which to complete his take-over. Constant vigilance and a willingness to fight each new executive thrust are required for our country to survive as we know it.

GaltBlvnAtty on December 3, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Anyone who doesn’t think that this is truly frightening either just isn’t paying attention, or prefers a Marxist regime to freedom.

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Jenfidel on December 3, 2010 at 11:31 AM

Get your head out of the clouds, for once. Sarah Palin, should she be elected President, would be more than happy to take advantage of this sort of blank-check “transfer authority.” Repeat after me: This is a separation of powers issue. Sarah can easily tell Congress (regardless of party) where to screw themselves if she runs into a logjam with them…
BradSchwartze on December 3, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Interesting. We can reference where the White House is trying to do this, but where exactly can I go to read where Palin advocates this exact thing?

In fact, everything I have read authored by her demonstrates exactly the opposite point of view.

You should try reading her stuff.

turfmann on December 3, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Trillions stolen… and counting. He’s just getting tired of the slow pace of the redistribution.
-

RalphyBoy on December 3, 2010 at 12:10 PM

turfmann on December 3, 2010 at 12:08 PM

The combination of charming naivete and literate ignorance that you exude is truly breathtaking. WE DON’T NEED to reference her writings to confirm that Palin would want a blank check to rewrite government in her image. And we certainly don’t need to look up Obama’s entire scholary oeurve to know he wants that blank check, as well.

If your goal is to seek power, there are some things that don’t need to be rationalized via writings.

BradSchwartze on December 3, 2010 at 12:13 PM

The administration also wants to a remarkably open-ended authority to transfer funds between accounts

Anyone else seeing trips to Spain for Moochelle?

Branch Rickey on December 3, 2010 at 12:17 PM

FOREIGN AID? FXXXING FOREIGN AID?

How far in the hole are we? Oh yeah. Trillions.

Oh well, let’s borrow a couple of trill more and hand it out like candy.

Hell of an idea.

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Interesting. We can reference where the White House is trying to do this, but where exactly can I go to read where Palin advocates this exact thing?

In fact, everything I have read authored by her demonstrates exactly the opposite point of view.

You should try reading her stuff.

turfmann on December 3, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Turfmann – if you are going to use facts and logic you are never going to win an argument with BradtranslatedasBlack – those pesky things disturb his delusions.

Branch Rickey on December 3, 2010 at 12:22 PM

If we don’t get people back to work, we’re the ones who will be needing foreign aid before it’s over.

Hell, we’ve got starving people in every city, town, village, and hollow around here; I’m sure it’s the same across the land. We’ve got to get our own ducks in a row before we try to assist others in their struggles, or the well is going to run dry. Completely.

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2010 at 12:26 PM

A putsch that must be put down without delay or compromise.

Mason on December 3, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Jeez.

When I worked in the Reagan administration, my boss got hauled up for 3 days of hearings with Tom Lantos over less than a million dollars that were reprogrammed from some research accounts to cover some international meetings without first getting permission from Congress. Formal reprogramming requests have ALWAYS been required and guarded jealously by Congress, regardless of the party that controlled the White House.

These appropriations bills are so massive because every dollar is accounted for and must be spent on the item that Congress directs. It’s impossible to overstate how huge a change it would be to allow the Executive Branch ANY leeway to reprogram ANY amount of spending.

rockmom on December 3, 2010 at 12:34 PM

Anyone else seeing trips to Spain for Moochelle?

Branch Rickey on December 3, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Nah, I think Ed is right on the money here – the White House wants to neuter the new Congress’ ability to stop parts of Obamacare and rein in the EPA through appropriations.

If Obama can just spend whatever he wants wherever he wants, he can raid any program to fund the EPA or implement Obamacare, even if he has already signed an appropriations bill that [prohibits funding for any of it. He can claim to be cooperating with Congress when he signs the bills and then surrpetitiously move the money arpound to keep funding his favorite programs and regulatory encroachments.

rockmom on December 3, 2010 at 12:39 PM

Unconscionable!

ElectricPhase on December 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

UNacceptable.

ted c on December 3, 2010 at 11:19 AM

Unexpected?
or should be expected?

dhunter on December 3, 2010 at 11:28 AM

At AP this will fall into the unreported category,

They not only won’t bother to “bury the lead” they’ll bury the story.

ontherocks on December 3, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Unprecedented!
Rocks on December 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Unconstitutional!

hillbillyjim on December 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Unconscionable!

ElectricPhase on December 3, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Impeachable?

nwsseeker on December 3, 2010 at 12:45 PM

Is it at all possible,that 11 billion is just asmall number to make it seem not an importnat request, with the power to transfer funds to be extended to allof the budget? That would really make sense…

anikol on December 3, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Watch this space.

About the only place where you’ll see an unbridled asswhooping directed at Teh One.

turfmann on December 3, 2010 at 11:14 AM

Should be a fun read…. “When Cuda Attacks”….

KCB on December 3, 2010 at 1:00 PM

B. “The administration also wants to a remarkably open-ended authority to transfer funds between accounts”

Really, what could go wrong?

MNHawk on December 3, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Dear President Obama, we have decided to allow you to transfer money from one account only. Please find enclosed the single and only deposit for your use—$5.00. Once the five dollars is used up, the account will be closed. Please spend wisely.

p.s. any attempt to replenish this fund will result in your immediate impeachment. Thank you, and have a nice day.

Rovin on December 3, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Why doesn’t Barry cut to the chase and just demand to be named King Barry I.

GarandFan on December 3, 2010 at 1:29 PM

While I think that the President should have more power in the budget (in so much as the president should submit budget requests, with only items on it receiving up or down votes in congress, and anything else congress wants should require a super-majority of votes on its own), but the ability to “transfer” funds from one purpose to another completely nullifies the congressional check of the pocket book.

Count to 10 on December 3, 2010 at 1:34 PM

remarkably open-ended authority

Forget the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, this even violates the Magna Carta! What’s next, the Code of Hammurabi?

Knott Buyinit on December 3, 2010 at 2:09 PM

I thought Bush was the new Fuhrer trying to cobble together an American fascist state?

Bishop on December 3, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Yes but, as we all know, Bush was a moron and our present Dear Leader is a genius lightworker. So of course Obama would have more success with this plans.

Lily on December 3, 2010 at 2:12 PM

let’s see drilling moratorium for 7 years, playing chicken with the tax extensions, unitary president spending whatever he wants on whatever he wants….yeah…looks like moving to the middle to me

r keller on December 3, 2010 at 2:46 PM

The administration also wants to a remarkably open-ended authority to transfer funds between accounts — a power that is sure to be resisted by the Appropriations Committee leadership.

Impeach the bastard the moment he tries to pull this crap.

ya2daup on December 3, 2010 at 2:47 PM

But wait, just a few weeks ago the media was asking if the job of being the President was too big for our poor little Barry, and now he wants more power? That’s weird.

JavelinaBomb on December 3, 2010 at 4:10 PM

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