By Les Gabriel
We have been hearing a lot in recent days about secret Congressional “Slush Funds” used to pay settlements for sexual and other misconduct. How many others wonder, as I do, how these practices comport with the two Constitutional mandates that apply to all spending by our national government? Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 7 states:
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No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.
The obvious intent of the Framers was to ensure that no Executive Agency and Congress itself could not spend money WITHOUT ACCOUNTABILITY. If every dollar to be spent has to be specifically appropriated for a specific purpose and every dollar actually spent has to be accounted for in a statement of expenditures, then the existence of secret slush funds should not be possible.
What we see being unveiled is more than a Congress trying to cover up wrong-doing by an as-yet unknown number of its members (and staff). We are seeing one of the consequences of years of wholesale disregard by members of both Parties of one of the most vital clauses put into the Constitution to protect We the People. These 38 simple words have long been ignored by Congress, the Executive, and the Courts. If we could find a way to enforce them, we would go far in restraining an out-of-control government.