House Budget Committee Investigation Exposes Trump Administration’s Systemic Abuse of Executive Spending Authority

More than two years after our investigation started, the House Budget Committee released a new report outlining the Trump Administration’s repeated abuses of executive spending authority.

The Trump Administration has methodically and purposefully undermined foundational budget laws and circumvented Congress, eroding the system of checks and balance central to our democracy.

Despite numerous legal decisions from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), warnings from congressional leaders, and even the President’s ultimate impeachment, the Trump Administration and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have continued their legally problematic efforts to gain control of federal spending and advance their own authoritarian view of executive power.

In summary:

  1. Over the past two years, the House Budget Committee has investigated the Trump Administration’s ongoing abuse of the apportionment process, OMB’s authority, and current law.
  2. This report documents a pattern of troubling conduct by the executive branch, ranging from the politicization of standard budgetary processes and the misuse of funds, to egregious violations of federal law. New documentation received by the House Budget Committee provides further evidence of systemic abuse under President Trump and OMB Director Russ Vought.
  3. OMB’s systemic rule breaking has shown an urgent need for congressional oversight of the executive branch and increased transparency. The House Budget Committee will use its findings to ensure our laws are strong enough to prevent and withstand executive abuse and Congress’ authority is preserved.

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Next Steps

Clearly, OMB was not deterred by the impeachment process or by GAO’s decision that the use of an apportionment footnote to withhold international assistance was an unlawful impoundment. The most recent documents obtained by House leaders provides further evidence demonstrating systemic abuse under President Trump and OMB Director Russ Vought.

These findings affirm the need for reforms to ensure that no future president can abuse the powers of his or her office, as President Trump has done throughout his term in office.

As Congress works to strengthen the bedrock of our democracy and ensure our laws are strong enough to withstand a lawless president, the Committee will continue to provide much-needed oversight of our nation’s spending and investigate potential violations of the apportionment process and key budget laws.

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Fighting for budget priorities that reflect the values of families across the country.

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Fighting for budget priorities that reflect the values of families across the country.

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