Congress may use its “power of the purse” to block President Obama’s executive action on illegal immigrants, a prominent legislative and policy authority on Capitol Hill concludes.

The new report from the Congressional Research Service says that the House Appropriations Committee was incorrect last week in saying the government agency most responsible for implementing Obama’s action— U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services — cannot be defunded by Congress.

The House spending committee reasoned that Citizenship and Immigration Services operates on revenue it generates through immigration applications, so it doesn’t use congressionally appropriated funds to pay for activities such as issuing legalization status and work permits.

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