Fees, fines and penalties: Has Congress lost control of the purse?

Has Congress lost control of the purse by delegating authority to agencies to self-fund their
activities with fees, fines, and penalties?

To answer this question, this paper first begins by reviewing the constitutional provisions and
statutory provisions that required funds collected to be deposited in the Treasury and
reappropriated. The paper then tries to clarify the extent to which agencies are collecting fees,
fines, and penalties. It subsequently reviews Congress’ rationales for delegating authority, and
tries to assess the degree to which Congress is directing the expenditure of those funds by
examining the organic statutes and appropriations laws (and accompanying reports) of three
agencies….(Read more)

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