The House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday which would block President Obama from funding favored political organizations through penalties levied against banks.
As reported by Western Journalism, the Obama administration once again appears to be employing extra-constitutional ways to get around Congress and fund many of its favorite organizations, some of which are engaged in political activities.
After forcing multi-billion settlements with most of the major banks in the country over mortgage practices, the Justice Department offered them the option of paying back some or all of the amounts owed on a better than a two-for-one dollar basis by “donating” to approved organizations, rather than remitting all the money to the U.S. Treasury.
For example, Bank of America donated “$1.15 million to the National Urban League, which counts as if it were $2.6 million against the bank’s settlement. Similarly, $1.5 million to La Raza takes $3.5 million off the total amount of ‘consumer relief’ owed by the bank,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
— House Judiciary Cmte (@HouseJudiciary) September 7, 2016
“Many of these groups engage in voter registration, community organizing and lobbying on liberal policy priorities at every level of government,” the Journal noted. “They also provide grants to other liberal groups not eligible for payouts under the settlements. Thanks to the Obama administration, and the fungibility of money, the settlements’ beneficiaries can now devote hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars to these activities.”
House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., introduced the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act in April, which prevents government officials from enforcing settlements that funnel money to third parties.
“Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, the Constitution is clear: Congress shall have the power to appropriate,” said Goodlatte in a House Judiciary Committee press release on Wednesday following the bill’s passage.
“The practices discovered within the DOJ must be stopped. The passage of this bill by the House ensures the recovered funds are used to benefit direct victims and not special interests, and brings accountability to the Executive Branch as a whole.”
According to the House Judiciary release, “the DOJ has used mandatory donations to direct as much as $880 million dollars to activist groups.”
In a related issue, the Obama administration announced earlier this year it will hand out over $7 billion to health insurance companies from fees collected through the Affordable Care Act as a means of mitigating the disastrous financial impact the legislation is having on them.
The only problem is the law authorizes a fixed share of those collected fees to be used for that purpose and the rest is to go Treasury’s general funds. The administration has handed over all the funds collected without obtaining authorization from Congress.
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