Rep. Gosar Demands GAO Investigate Executive Amnesty Actions That Likely Violate the Antideficiency Act

For Immediate Release
Date: March 5, 2015


Contact: Steven D. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after spearheading a letter signed by 29 of his House colleagues to Comptroller General of the United States, Gene Dodaro, asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate expenditures by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in relation to President Obama’s executive amnesty actions and to determine if these actions violate the Antideficiency Act (ADA):

“Congress has not authorized this amnesty program or appropriated money to hire staff and rent buildings to process these illegal applications. The Antideficiency Act clearly states that federal employees are prohibited from, ‘involving the government in any obligation to pay money before funds have been appropriated for that purpose, unless otherwise allowed by law.’

“Federal Judge Andrew Hanen was so concerned that these actions were outside the law that he issued an injunction barring President Barack Obama and his administration from implementing ‘any and all aspects or phases of’ the November 2014 amnesty order. Disturbingly, the president has indicated he will not comply with the judges’ orders. 

“I call on GAO to conduct an investigation into this matter and respond to the questions posed by my House colleagues and me. If the president or any other government employee is found to have violated the ADA, they risk undermining the very fabric of the Constitution and should be held accountable through the administrative and penal sanctions punishable by this Act. Congress must be vigilant in our oversight of this rogue administration and in our enforcement of the rule of law.”


On November 21, 2014, just one day after the president made his announcement regarding his executive actions on immigration, DHS posted 1,000 job openings—many of them permanent positions—signaling that the plans to make expenditures had been in place well before the president’s announcement. The administration has also announced that they will lease a massive new office in Crystal City, Virginia to house the new employees. Media reports indicate that these actions alone will squander at least $48 million in taxpayer money

The Congressman’s letter to GAO Director Gene Dodaro can be found HERE.

The ADA was originally enacted in 1884 and is now codified in several sections of the U.S. Code (31 U.S.C. 1341-1342 and 31 U.S.C. 1501-1519). The law’s primary purpose is to prohibit federal government employees and officers from incurring obligations and making expenditures in excess of congressional appropriations.

The ADA was originally passed because unaccountable bureaucrats would intentionally spend all of their budgeted money early, and then enter into contracts with vendors for more services, thus obligating Congress to honor the contracts. By doing so they would simply increase their actual budgets and force Congress to spend more.

The other cosigners of the letter included Representatives Brian Babin, Jim Bridenstine, Mo Brooks, Larry Buchson, Ron DeSantis, Jeff Duncan, John Duncan, Blake Farenthold, John Fleming, Trent Franks, Jeb Hensarling, Darrell Issa, Sam Johnson, Walter Jones, Mike Kelly, Steve King, Kenny Marchant, Jeff Miller, John Mica, Mick Mulvaney, Pete Olson, Steve Palazzo, Tom Price, Reid Ribble, Dana Rohrabacher, Matt Salmon, David Schweikert, Randy Weber and Ted Yoho.