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Press statement regarding GAO Decision B-331564, Office of Management and Budget–Withholding of Ukraine Security Assistance

The following is a statement from Thomas H. Armstrong, Esq., General Counsel, U.S. Government Accountability Office, regarding a legal decision issued on January 16, 2020:

“Today, GAO issued a legal decision concluding that the Office of Management and Budget violated the law when it withheld approximately $214 million appropriated to DOD for security assistance to Ukraine.  The President has narrow, limited authority to withhold appropriations under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974.  OMB told GAO that it withheld the funds to ensure that they were not spent “in a manner that could conflict with the President’s foreign policy.”  The law does not permit OMB to withhold funds for policy reasons.” The full decision can be found here: https://www.gao.gov/products/B-331564

For additional information please contact Jacques Arsenault in GAO’s Office of Public Affairs at 202-512-4612.