Texas AG Sues Biden Administration Over $1.7 Tril­lion ‘Unconstitutional’ Spend­ing Bill

Texas AG Sues Biden Administration Over $1.7 Tril­lion ‘Unconstitutional’ Spend­ing Bill
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during an interview with The Epoch Times' "Crossroads" at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 27, 2021. (The Epoch Times)
Savannah Hulsey Pointer
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced a lawsuit against President Joe Biden and members of his administration over the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023.
Paxton alleges that the $1.7 trillion federal omnibus spending bill was illegally signed into law by Biden in December 2022. He asserts in his lawsuit, which he filed on Feb. 15, that the legislation is unconstitutional because it wasn’t duly approved by the House of Representatives.

Only 201 members were present when the House voted on the spending package in December 2022; Paxton, in his lawsuit, argues that because more than 50 percent of the members were missing, the necessary quorum wasn’t satisfied.

According to the complaint, the U.S. Constitution requires a quorum of members of the House of Representatives to be present for the lower body of Congress to perform any action.

The House approved the measure with 225 “yes” votes, 201 “no” votes, and one “present” vote, although among those physically present for the vote were 88 “yes” and 113 “no.” Several Republicans, as well as the majority of Democrats, voted by proxy, as recorded by the House clerk.
“Nowhere does the U.S. Constitution authorize the House to pass trillion-dollar bills when more than half the members are in their homes, vacationing, or are anywhere physically other than the United States Capitol Building,” Paxton said, according to a statement from his office.

“Our Founders would be turning over in their graves if they could see how former Speaker Nancy Pelosi used proxy voting to upend our constitutional system. That is especially true regarding the 1.7 trillion-dollar bill that should have never been ‘passed.’ Joe Biden ... should have known he couldn’t legally sign it either.”

Proxy voting was implemented in 2020 by then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. Members of the House were allowed to continue to vote without being present through December 2022. Republicans ended the practice when they became the majority party in January.

The spending measure allocates funds to federal agencies for the balance of the fiscal year 2023 and includes supplementary funds for disaster relief and Ukraine assistance and extends a number of expiring authorities.

The $1.7 trillion spending bill alters or establishes a variety of programs addressing a wide range of policy issues and includes 12 appropriation bills to fund agencies during the current fiscal year, including the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act; Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act; and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

The White House didn’t respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

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