The Biden administration might be illegally spending money on the Department of Homeland Security’s new disinformation board, bypassing constitutionally required congressional approval, according to Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.
“Plainly, this DHS Disinformation Governance Board [DGB] imposing significant constraints on the bedrock of American values and freedoms and new costs on the American people requires congressional review and may be a violation of the Antideficiency Act,” Hagerty wrote in a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the New York Post reported Monday.
The Antideficiency Act says the executive branch cannot spend money unless it is authorized by Congress.
“In this case, it appears that the amount available for this action is ‘none’ and that Congress explicitly defunded it, just weeks ago,” Hagerty claimed in his letter.
DGB Executive Director Nina Jankowicz has been accused of spreading her own disinformation, including claiming the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation and calling out partisan lies in a Mary Poppins parody video on TikTok.
“Establishment of this board will significantly impact Americans’ free speech rights and cuts across numerous areas of government and society,” Hagerty added in his letter Mayorkas. “It will change the relationship between the government and the governed to whom it answers.
“It will also substantially increase administrative costs for the number of different federal agencies engaged in this effort, which will impose increased costs on the American taxpayer.”
The creation of Biden’s DGB might also be subject to the Congressional Review Act (CRA), according to Hagerty, who serves on the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
“Under the CRA, an agency action that falls within the definition of a ‘rule’ must be submitted to Congress for review before it can take effect,” Hagerty wrote. “The CRA defines a rule as: ‘the whole or a part of an agency statement of general or particular applicability and future effect designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy or describing the organization, procedure, or practice requirements of an agency.'”
A member of Congress can call on the Government Accountability Office to determine whether the DGB is a “rule,” which can lead to a mere majority vote to abolish the board, according to Hagerty’s office, the Post reported.
Hagerty also noted Mayorkas violating the Antideficiency Act might subject him to criminal prosecution.
“As you know, an officer or employee, including you, who violates the Antideficiency Act ‘shall be subject to appropriate administrative discipline,’ and, for willful violations, faces a criminal fine, imprisonment, or both,” Hagerty wrote.
Hagerty’s letter asks Mayorkas to make the DGB reviewable under the CRA and notify the White House budget office if DHS is in violation of the Antideficiency Act, the Post reported.
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.