Grassroots Commentary

Wolf Cracks Constitutional Whip on Justice Dep't Spending

Jerry McConnell · Apr. 25, 2014

The April 14, 2014 editorial of the Washington Examiner had some good news for Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public (I wonder if there really might be a couple with that name; I’ve been fascinated with names ever since I once spotted the name [not fiction] Justin Case). But I regress.

Good news and bad news, all in the same editorial which had as its prime subject, Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. who acted as one might suspect any normal person would, in outrage with the illegitimately operated by Attorney General Eric Holder Justice Department. In fact, the Examiner reacted just like we all should, saying, “Finally! Somebody is showing the backbone the Founders expected of the House of Representatives in its exclusive exercise of the power of the purse.”

It takes an inordinately strong person not lacking in bravado to oppose the strong ego of a narcissist second only to the current occupant of the White House Oval Office and Frank Wolf, as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee panel with jurisdiction over the Department of Justice budget has, as the Examiner states, “repeatedly clashed with that department asking for documents and information that Congress and the American people inarguably have a right to see. And over and over again, Wolf has been stymied by Attorney General Eric Holder and other high-ranking Obama administration appointees in the Justice Department.”

Possessing the same self-loving and overly indulgent self-importance as Obama can cause conduct contrary to the proper business relations between branches of government. Executive power is often used unwisely and indiscriminately which leads to the annoyance of other branches. When such power is defined as being opposed to the Constitution’s limits of authority, which is often the case with the POTUS and the AG, friction usually develops.

In its editorial the Examiner states, “As J. Christian Adams, a PJ Media columnist and former Justice Department attorney, noted Friday, the Omnibus Act of 2013 requires 66 separate reports to Congress by department officials on their activities.”

Now even I or you might get a bit testy over such a voluminous amount of, in all likelihood, a small avalanche of paperwork, probably repetitive in many places as well as time consuming correcting and perfecting all 66 reports; but as the Department of Justice and the Attorney General must dutifully know, it’s the law, it is!

So, as the Examiner continues, “Weary of the disrespectful responses he was getting – including materials that clearly were not responsive to what was requested, or documents so redacted as to be useless in oversight – Wolf has come up with a creative and constitutionally sound tactic for dealing with the situation, which he described during a hearing last week:

"Today, I am announcing a new policy that these overdue reports will no longer be tolerated by the committee. When our Fiscal Year 2015 bill is marked up this spring, I intend to withhold $1 million for every overdue report from the FY 2013 and FY 2014 bills. The funds will be provided instead to agencies in this bill that comply with reporting requirements. With the current backlog of 43 reports, this could be a significant reduction in funds for the department. But you have now been given fair warning that these overdue reports will now be taken into account when the subcommittee determines your budget.”

Don’t you wish there were more politicians who knew how to use the tools of office to get things done, instead of just get things for themselves? I would appreciate seeing, in writing on an ultra-official document, the words, “As a result of your conduct in certain instances as outlined herein, you are hereby going to have to interrupt your weekly golf game for a few months while we present our case for Impeachment Mr. President or Attorney General.” Frankly, I can’t IMAGINE Speaker Boehner even THINKING in those decisive terms, wimp RINO that he is.

The Examiner editorial was thinking along the same lines that coincided with mine concerning the Founding Fathers actions over 250 years ago and spelling it out in the Constitution whereby the House of Representatives were given the power to provide or deny the money each one of the departments, bureaus or agencies could spend. As the Examiner pointed out, “The model for that provision of the U.S. Constitution was the British House of Commons, which had often used the power of the purse to force English monarchs and the House of Lords to bow to the will of the people’s representatives.”

But the modern Republican House is so chicken and afraid someone might yell “Boo” as they tiptoe by the cemetery late at night with their purse veto power fully scabbarded, they miss the ultimate purpose for which they were sent to Washington – keep spending under control. They treat that dictate of the public voter as if it were a curse on their heads. And even if Obama wants to spend another trillion or two or three over the confines of the budget, ‘So what – have at it boys and girls.“ "No Guts” Boehner has got to go.

And now, as I said in the second paragraph above, the bad news is that Rep. Wolf is going to retire at the end of this term; but I have a sparkling suggestion: 'I propose that Rep. Frank Wolf, R-VA not retire at the end of this term, but announce he will stay and run for the Speaker’s position.’ Do I hear a ‘second’ for that? I might even borrow one of Obama’s 2012 jury-rigged voting machines.

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