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The Appropriations Power and the Necessary and Proper Clause, 68 WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY LAW QUARTERLY 644 (1990)


We have been told that the prevailing interpretation of the appropriations clause on Capitol Hill is that "it gives Congress an omnipresent veto over every conceivable action of the President through the ability to withhold funding." I do not know who has this view. To recognize that Congress has exclusive control over the purse-strings of the federal government is a far cry from concluding that Congress may attach any conceivable condition or limitation on federal funding. I, for one, agree that when the Constitution confers the President exclusive, enumerated authority, Congress may not assume that authority as its own by the simple expedient of cutting off or conditioning appropriations.

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