Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Impeachment bombshell just a dud

 

January 22, 2020



You’re excused if you didn’t hear about the latest impeachment “bombshell” that exploded in the media on Wednesday.

Wednesday, after all, was a really crowded big-news day.

It was the super-duper historic day when Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s House Democrats finally got their act together and solemnly paraded over to the Senate to present their articles of impeachment against the president.

It was also the day President Trump signed Phase 1 of the long-awaited and hard-fought U.S.-China trade deal — a historical event the fair-and-balanced reporters at CNN and MSNBC apparently didn’t notice.

And wasn’t it Wednesday night when the Democrats held their last debate on CNN before the Iowa caucuses?

Really? It was Tuesday night? You could have fooled me. I only watched for a few minutes. It was all I could stand.

I remember hearing something the next day about Bernie and Liz caught on an open mic accusing each other of having called each other a liar.

The impeachment bombshell most people didn’t hear explode on Wednesday was dropped by the Government Accountability Office, which Democrats had asked last year to look into the legality of President Trump’s alleged “withholding” of military funding to Ukraine.

The GAO, which is an independent agency, announced its investigators had determined that when the Trump White House’s Office of Management and Budget delayed the military aid to Ukraine it broke the 1974 Impoundment Control Act.

The ICA is a Nixon-era law requiring the executive department to spend the money Congress has appropriated in the way Congress wants it to be spent.

It was designed to give Congress more power over the federal budget process by curtailing the president’s power to impound federal money for programs he didn’t like.

The act was passed by Congress during Watergate to punish President Nixon, who was so politically weak he didn’t even try to fight it.

It’s no coincidence, by the way, that once Congress got the upper hand over the budget process the annual deficit exploded, which is why every president since my father has supported the restoration of the impoundment power.

Democrats and the media made a really big deal out of the GAO’s decision that Trump’s OMB had violated the ICA on the Ukraine military funding issue.

“Oh my God, the president broke the law. He broke the law.”

But let’s wait half a minute. No law was broken.

The money for Ukraine was held up. It was not withheld. And it was sent by the OMB to Ukraine weeks before Congress’ deadline, which was the end of the fiscal year on Oct. 31.

Anyway, violating the Impoundment Control Act isn’t an impeachable offense. The act says Congress can try to get a court to force the president to spend what it appropriated.

The Democrats running Congress threatened to do that twice to make my father spend money he didn’t want to spend, but they never threatened him with impeachment for it.

Today’s Democrats are too deranged to be patient and do things right. They skip the going-to-court parts on everything and go straight for the death penalty — impeachment.

But don’t worry about the OMB bombshell. It was a media bombshell for half a day, but now it’s already another forgotten dud.

Michael Reagan is the president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Contact him at:

http://www.reagan.com

 
 

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