WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding President Trump’s tweet that he would be cutting off or substantially reducing aid to Central America:
“Fortunately, Congress—not the President—has the power of the purse, and my colleagues and I will not stand idly by as this Administration ignores congressional intent. My office has reached out to the Government Accountability Office – which is statutorily authorized to track acts of impoundment – to ensure that the President does not violate the Impoundment Control Act.
“Beyond these potential egregious violations of laws and norms, the President’s approach to Central America will have precisely the opposite impact from what he intends. El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are plagued by violence and poverty. In many communities, gender-based violence against women and girls is tragically common. The best way to keep Central Americans from migrating to the United States is to continue investing in their communities so that they are not forced to make the dangerous trek north. Yet again, President Trump’s policy toward Latin America will only make things worse.”
The Impoundment Control Act prohibits the President from withholding—or impounding—money appropriated by Congress.
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