Agenda47: Using Impoundment to Slash Waste, Stop Inflation, and Crush the Deep State
June 20, 2023
Bedminster, NJ— Today, President Donald J. Trump announced his plan to restore executive branch impoundment authority to cut waste, stop inflation, and crush the Deep State.
“For 200 years under our system of government, it was undisputed that the President had the Constitutional power to stop unnecessary spending through what is known as Impoundment," President Trump said.
“Very simply, this meant that if Congress provided more funding than was needed to run the government, the President could refuse to waste the extra funds, and instead return the money to the general treasury and maybe even lower your taxes, although we did give you the biggest tax reduction in history, and the biggest regulation reduction in history, two things I am very proud of."
President Trump’s plan will naturally lead the Executive and Legislative Branches to work together to negotiate and gain better control of federal spending.
“I will use the president’s long-recognized Impoundment Power to squeeze the bloated federal bureaucracy for massive savings. This will be in the form of tax reductions for you. This will help quickly to stop inflation and slash the deficit."
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S PLAN TO RESTORE EXECUTIVE BRANCH IMPOUNDMENT AUTHORITY TO CUT WASTE, STOP INFLATION, AND CRUSH THE DEEP STATE
PRESIDENT TRUMP WILL RESTORE THE IMPOUNDMENT POWER OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH:
- President Trump will restore the Impoundment Power, reestablishing the balance of power between the Legislative and the Executive branches.
- On Day One, President Trump will direct federal agencies to identify portions of their budgets where massive savings are possible through the Impoundment Power, while maintaining the same level of funding for defense, Social Security, and Medicare.
- President Trump will take action to challenge the constitutionality of limits placed on the Impoundment Power by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (CBA), the source of Congress’s usurpation of Executive Branch powers.
- President Trump will also work with Congress to overturn the limits of the CBA.
- In passing the CBA, Congress handcuffed the president from preventing wasteful spending.
- The CBA dramatically limited impoundment, the power of the president to choose not to unnecessarily spend taxpayer dollars, forcing the executive branch to spend every penny of congressionally appropriated funds.
- Under current law, the president can request rescissions of funds, but those requests must be approved by both houses of Congress. The president can only defer the use of funds in limited instances.
- Leading constitutional scholars agree that impoundment is an inherent power of the president.
- Congress has the “power of the purse,” so its appropriations necessarily set a ceiling on federal spending for a particular purpose, but it should not set the floor.
- Article II of the Constitution vests the president with the inherent authority to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” which has historically been understood to mean that the president can impound funds when doing so allows him to enforce the law more effectively and efficiently.
- In defense of the president’s impoundment power against attacks from Congress, Joseph Sneed, Deputy Attorney General under President Richard Nixon, explained that the use of executive impoundment “to promote fiscal stability is not usurpation; rather it is in the great tradition of checks and balances upon which our Constitution is based.”
- Restoring the Impoundment Power will naturally lead the Executive and Legislative Branches to have to work together to negotiate and gain better control of federal spending.
- Although Congress has the power to appropriate funds, inherent within the president’s power to execute the law is a measure of discretion on how funds are spent, because spending decisions often depend on how laws are executed in practice.
- The CBA placed crippling burdens on the use of impoundment authority and on the president’s negotiating leverage with Congress over how taxpayer dollars are spent, leaving Congress with virtually unchecked budget authority.
EXECUTIVE BRANCH’S USE OF ITS CONSTITUTIONAL IMPOUNDMENT POWER DATES BACK TO THE EARLIEST DAYS OF THE REPUBLIC:
- The Executive Branch Impoundment Power traces its roots to the Jefferson Administration and the earliest days of the American Republic.
- In 1803, after France refused the U.S. access to the Port of New Orleans, Congress appropriated funding for 15 gunboats. President Jefferson refused to spend the money after determining that the purchase of the gunboats would jeopardize negotiations with the French.
- In his third annual message to Congress explaining why he had not purchased the gunboats as authorized by Congress, President Jefferson declared that a “favorable and peaceable turn of affairs on the Mississippi rendered an immediate execution of that law unnecessary.” President Jefferson used his power as the Chief Executive to impound congressionally appropriated funds based on his foreign policy and national security judgment that the use of the funds would be unwise and unnecessary.
- For 170 years, from President Jefferson to President Nixon, the chief executive routinely used the Impoundment Power to further national interests.
- In the 19th century, presidents James Buchanan and Ulysses S. Grant used impoundment in the context of domestic policy to prevent the use of funds to build post offices in Illinois and construct river and harbor improvements.
- Democratic administrations, such as those of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson, also exercised the Impoundment Power.
- Today, the Impoundment Power is regularly used by 43 governors across the U.S.
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S RESTORATION OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH IMPOUNDMENT POWER WILL BE AN EFFECTIVE TOOL IN FIGHT AGAINST WASTEFUL SPENDING:
- Since the CBA, wasteful overspending has exploded out of control.
- Congress has run deficits in all but four years since 1974.
- In 1974, the national debt was $475 Billion and 31 percent of the GDP. Today, it is $30.8 trillion and 123 percent of the GDP.
- Since the CBA was enacted, the federal debt has never gone below its 1974 level.
- Improper payments, payments made incorrectly by the federal government, cost the U.S. $247 billion in 2022.
- The U.S. government has lost nearly $2.4 trillion in simple payment errors over the last two decades.
- For 50 years, Congress has used the CBA to force the passage of gigantic, wasteful spending packages.
- Since the CBA, Congress has adopted a budget resolution on time only 6 times, missing the deadline by an average of 40 days.
- Congress has almost never met the CBA deadline for its 12 annual appropriations bills, often resorting to omnibus spending bills to rush appropriations through.
Crooked Joe Biden, our disgraced president, has wasted trillions of taxpayer dollars in less than three years—causing uncontrolled inflation that is crushing working families.
Reining-in Biden’s wasteful and unnecessary spending is vital to stopping inflation and rescuing our economy from ruin. But the pain of the spending cuts must be borne by the special interests and Washington bureaucrats, NOT by American families and American seniors in particular.
For 200 years under our system of government, it was undisputed that the President had the Constitutional power to stop unnecessary spending through what is known as Impoundment.
Very simply, this meant that if Congress provided more funding than was needed to run the government, the President could refuse to waste the extra funds, and instead return the money to the general treasury and maybe even lower your taxes, although we did give you the biggest tax reduction in history, and the biggest regulation reduction in history, two things I am very proud of. And they still are there, although they are disappearing rapidly under Biden.
Thomas Jefferson famously used this power, as did many other presidents until it was wrongfully curtailed by the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 – not a very good act. This disaster of a law is clearly unconstitutional—a blatant violation of the separation of powers.
When I return to the White House, I will do everything I can to challenge the Impoundment Control Act in court, and if necessary, get Congress to overturn it. We will overturn it.
I will then use the president’s long-recognized Impoundment Power to squeeze the bloated federal bureaucracy for massive savings. This will be in the form of tax reductions for you. This will help quickly to stop inflation and slash the deficit.
To prepare for this eventuality, on Day One, I will order every federal agency to begin identifying large chunks of their budgets that can be saved through efficiencies and waste reduction using Impoundment.
Of course, this will not include national defense and, unlike Ron DeSanctimonious, who doesn’t really know what is happening, I will not lay a finger on Medicare or Social Security. He wants to destroy Social Security and basically obliterate Medicare. These are benefits for our seniors. We are not going to touch it. There are many other things we can do. We are not going to let Ron DeSanctus do anything to hurt Medicare or Social Security.
On the contrary, some of the funds we save through Impoundment from other parts of the government can be used to strengthen Medicare and Social Security for years to come.
Reasserting the president’s historic Impoundment authority will also restore critical negotiating leverage with Congress to keep spending under control. Very simple. We are going to keep spending under control.
We had it done and then Covid came in and we had to do some things to help save our country. We did a great job. But we were starting to make lots of money. We were Energy Independent. We were going to be Energy Dominant. We were going to be taking in massive amounts of money from the liquid gold that we have under our feet. More than any other nation. And we were going to reduce taxes and pay off debt.
This is the ONLY way we will ever return a balanced budget: Impoundment.
Just as importantly, bringing back Impoundment will give us a crucial tool with which to obliterate the Deep State, Drain the Swamp, and starve the Warmongers –-- these people that want wars all over the place; killing, killing, killing, they love killing --- and the Globalists out of government.
We are going to get the Warmongers and the Globalists out of our government.
With Impoundment, we can simply choke off the money.
This policy is anti-inflation, anti-Swamp, anti-globalist—and it’s pro-growth, pro-taxpayer, pro-American, and pro-freedom.
I alone can get that done. I will get it done and Make America Great Again.
Thank you very much.