The House GOP task force on the Constitution unveiled its blueprint to restore the power of the purse and regain the authority they feel Congress has lost to the judiciary and executive branches Thursday.
The architects of the plan said they would like Congress to recapture its authority over federal agencies, up oversight on the White House and federal agencies, and get back to regular order by passing annual appropriations bills.
“The people granted Congress the power to write laws, raise revenues, and spend and borrow money on behalf of the United States,” lawmakers wrote in the proposal. “There is no power more consequential, and so the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate face the voters every two years. But more than that, frequent elections allow the people to have a say in their government’s decisions. Yet for decades, Congress has let this power atrophy — thereby depriving the people of their voice.”
The plan says lawmakers need to use one of their most powerful tools, authorization bills, to hold the president accountable in that they would be able to limit agency powers. They emphasized the importance of passing spending bills, saying all-encompassing omnibus bills lead to dysfunction an increased inefficiencies.
“Only if Congress passes individual spending bills covering discrete functions of the executive branch can the people truly regain control of their government,” the proposal reads.
The 22-page blueprint also called on the Organizational Task Force, convened by Speaker Paul Ryan, to evaluate federal programs to ensure money is being wasted on programs that could be terminated. If the proposal comes into fruition, Republicans say the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) would also be strengthened, providing more transparency to the public.
“It is incumbent on Congress to ensure the executive branch is complying with its statutory obligations and not withholding information the public is entitled to under FOIA,” the plan says.
The President would also be required to release his regulatory agenda.
The Constitution plank is the fourth of a six-part agenda, titled “A Better Way,” rolled out by the GOP, with their plan for health care and taxes slated to be released next week.
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