Was The $500 Million Payment To The UN Climate Slush Fund Legal?

Yesterday I highlighted a Reuters article on Team O giving $500 million to the UN Green Climate Fund, and the article mentioned this

But lawmakers did not block the funds in December after they wrapped up a sprawling budget deal to keep the U.S. government operating through next September.

But, is the payment authorized under law?

(CNS) Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) on Tuesday slammed the administration’s handover of $500 million to the U.N. Green Climate Fund, asking a State Department official how the “handout to foreign bureaucrats” could be justified at a time when there were “real problems” that need to be addressed at home.

Barrasso told Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom he viewed the payment to the “new international climate change slush fund” – the first installment of a $3 billion pledge – as both a misuse of taxpayer dollars and a violation of legislation that prohibits federal agencies from spending federal funds in advance or in excess of an appropriation.

Higginbottom responded

“We have reviewed our authorities and made a determination that we can make this payment to the Green Climate Fund,” she said. “We do not believe we are in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, and clearly our lawyers and others have looked at our authorities and our abilities to do this.”

To which Barrasso answered

“I firmly oppose what the president is doing here and this misuse, I believe, of taxpayer dollars, I think completely in violation of the law,” Barrasso told her.

Here’s the point that rebuts the Reuters article

Barrasso noted that Congress has not authorized or appropriated any funding for the GCF, and that the most recent fiscal year appropriations bill also “specifically prohibited the transfer of funds to create new programs.”

So, it might not specifically block the funds, but it does block them generally. Nor was it appropriated. What was done, apparently, was to redirect funds from other federal agencies, and Ms. Higginbottom seemed to be unable to answer the question regarding which departments the money came from. Which might well violate funding of Executive Office agencies laws. Furthermore, since the money for the GCF was never authorized by Congress, it violates the law about spending money in advance, since Obama has put the funding request in for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, but they were never approved.

Not that Obama cares. Not that the GOP has done anything to stop him.

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6 Responses to “Was The $500 Million Payment To The UN Climate Slush Fund Legal?”

  1. John says:

    Teach
    It is a 1/2 a penny a day per American

  2. gitarcarver says:

    It is a 1/2 a penny a day per American

    And your point?

    Should we do things that are illegal just because you think the cost is low?

    One of your standard arguments is that the costs of a individual project is low when spread out. I would hope you realize that the more projects that you put together the more costs Americans have to pay on a daily basis. Or has simple math escaped you?

    How many roads can be repaved with that money? How many textbooks can be bought? How many police can be hired? How many computer systems can be upgraded for that money?

    If you want to give the UN half a billion for some pie in the sky, unproven program, feel free to dive into your pocket and pay for it.

  3. john says:

    well actually I did mention on an earlier reply that we have about 50000 miles of interstate highways, we could get another 50 miles at 10 million a mile.
    AS far as it being “illegal” well that seems to be a matter in dispute. The same people who are saying THAT is illegal are the same ones who said that Obama was an illegal usurper because he was born in Kenya. They are the same ones who probably also said that the detainees in Gitmo had no legal rights
    I would be perfectly happy to have those matters decided by the SCOTUS, either now or whenever the next Justice is confirmed.

  4. Mike says:

    Obama may be greasing the skids for a run at UN Secretary General.

  5. gitarcarver says:

    well actually I did mention on an earlier reply that we have about 50000 miles of interstate highways, we could get another 50 miles at 10 million a mile.

    You think repaving a road is at a million a mile?

    AS far as it being “illegal” well that seems to be a matter in dispute. The same people who are saying THAT is illegal are the same ones who said that Obama was an illegal usurper because he was born in Kenya.

    Nice try. Sen. John Barrasso is not a birther by any stretch of the imagination.

    As Teach noted, there is little factual dispute as to the illegality of the spending.

    Just as ridiculous, you never raised the issue of “legal or illegal” until AFTER you made the ridiculous statement of how little the spending costs. You didn’t care about the illegality of the spending and just supported it because, well, no one knows why you say the ridiculous things you do other than you are a leftist, ill informed troll.

    They are the same ones who probably also said that the detainees in Gitmo had no legal rights

    Proof please.

    I would be perfectly happy to have those matters decided by the SCOTUS…..

    So you would be willing to have the spending be put on hold for the 4 or 5 years it would take the case to get to the Supreme Court?

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