March 29, 2021

House Budget Committee Republicans Demand Hearing on President Biden’s Unlawful Freeze on Border Wall Construction

Highlight Previous “Power of the Purse” Oversight by Committee Democrats

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Budget Committee Republicans sent a letter to House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth requesting he immediately hold a hearing on President Biden’s decision to withhold appropriated funds passed by Congress and signed into law for construction of a wall along the southern border of the United States. That decision came in the form of a Proclamation issued by President Biden on January 20, 2021.

“President Biden abandoned the border wall and broke the law,” said House Budget Committee Republican Leader Jason Smith (MO-08). “Yet, our Democrat colleagues who expressed so much concern for Congressional authority and the ‘power of the purse’ under the previous administration, have now gone silent. The only thing that has changed is the resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

In their letter, House Budget Committee Republicans wrote, “This action is an abuse of the Executive Branch’s authorities and appears in violation of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (ICA)…As a result of this Proclamation, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) immediately froze funds previously appropriated by Congress for this purpose. This executive action and the Biden Administration’s posture regarding immigration policies has caused a national security, humanitarian, and public health crisis at our southern border.”

House Budget Committee Republicans highlighted how convening a hearing is entirely consistent with the House Budget Committee’s oversight plan and Chairman Yarmuth’s particularly active oversight of the ICA during the Trump Administration. Such activities by the Committee during the Trump Administration included the Committee making numerous document requests to OMB, initiating a Committee investigation, and holding a hearing.

Read the full letter here.