« PreviousContinue »
Mr. Johnson said, at his
has refused to spend $12.8 billion of funds ildren live on Federal proper
1 year ending June 30. nwide, of the $91 million p
ution to those economic problems is to Other school systems will be
de projects. Most of it is in the contitlement of this "impact" sia
instance, was scheduled for highways. Washington's hard-pressed schools
Democratic speech goes by without n that they had anticipated sem
Carroll. "We're in real trouble," Carrel l i
ed at the money currently imPrince George's School Superinten cision would mean $1.6 millionen
Massachusetts is introducing eant really serious trouble."
propriated funds. With conThis school fund is caught in the
is, the money is necessary Ingress over the allocation of the same esident's budget.
an of the Constitutional Federal impact aid is very popur The
is a presidential grab of ke ost other kinds of Federal seals da stration officials have objecten
eek that would require ipect aid goes to wealthy districts.
es to withhold or delay eatest social and educational need
sapproval. President Johnson's decision on imprese
the House and the ate rent difficulties in three of the sun
tters. Nizon can consite the final 20 per cent of their inch
ts are confident that E mers County will lose
Democratic party's . Bar all three had balanced their buigets
en funds, the conPresident Johnson observed that Congress in
has higher mini1 o the appropriation for the past year, tot est for the coming school year by $110 million
ids includes $13 -Insther words,” Mr. Johnson said. "the CONTEN est at $6 billion from your budget 28 You-sent it to
in antipoverty Ang hut we add another $200 million over and
Service mostly The Feise also voted last month to cut the app
housing, $200 Hemant to aid slum schools, sharpening the edge of the
cities. 1a resolution
(By John Chadwick)
SALTING oty. Gen. William H. Roh
. Gen. William H. Rehngust suid de could not sent to supporting such a bill, but added attietie to its purpose." Re i st agreed yesterday to write the exislation
Senate subcommittee on separation powers ended und ment--the presidential
some y Congress.
e Democratic leaders a
Sen, Charles McC. Mathias, R-Md., a member of the subcommittee, agreed the type of legislation Ervin asked the Justice Department to prepare might be the answer.
He told a reporter impoundment “has become a refined kind of veto" which relieves a president of the burdens, political and otherwise, of submitting a veto message to Congress.
Under the Constitution, the president has to accept or reject a bill as a whole. He cannot veto portions of a law of items of an appropriations measure. Congress can override a veto by a two-thirds majority in both houses.
Mathias said that rather than try to amend the Constitution to give the president an item veto, it might be better to set up statutory apparatus to get the same result.
Ervin said the legislation he outlined would have the effect of giving a president an item veto of appropriations that could be overridden by Congress.
"I see nothing in the Constitution that militates against that," he said.
[From The Daily Press, Newport News, Va., Mar, 28, 1971)
HUSBAND, WIFE RELATIONSHIP North Carolina Sen. Sam Ervin has a well-developed conscience. He has proved that often during his long career in public service and he is working as hard at it now as he ever has.
Perhaps he is even hoping that some of it will rub off on the Senate. For some time, he has been concerned about the “Big Brother” aspect of government record-keeping regarding individuals, and lately he has raised the ticklish constitutional point of whether the President can hold back funds appropriated by Congress.
When Senator Ervin speaks about the Constitution, it is necessary to take notice since even the liberals admit he is an authority-except when he calls them down on such subjects as civil rights. Senator Ervin, as chairman of a subcommitte on separation of powers, is holding hearings on administrative non-lise of about $12 billion which Congress has appropriated and, although the hearings are just beginning, some interesting ideas have come out.
As one witness observed, the issue has been raised before he claimed it dated back to the beginning of the nation-without generating a satisfactory solution. Mr. Nixon is not the first President to be accused of being tightfisted, either ; we recall reports some years back on controversial actions which openly observed that the President could withhold or spend money he saw fit. The relationship between the President and Congress on spending has been essentially that of a husband and wife.
We must admit that the thought of congressional wisdom being short-circuited by refusal to spend appropriations has troubled us from time to time. This was basically an intellectual concern, however, and usually was interrupted by some new foolishness on the part of Congress, but the issue which created it is quite real and important, of course.
The presidential practice has been honored by time and tradition, and it does provide a financial flexibility not otherwise available. An administration can use its powers to cut back war expenditures should our commitment be reduced suddenly, and it can use the spending power in a manner compatible with the economic situation-just to mention two possibilities. The inflationary crisis which has marred the Nixon presidency is a perfect example of the need for flexibility.
It is doubtful that the current practice can be abandoned since it seems inherent in our division of governmental powers. It is, then, a question of how the necessary balances are maintained and, as such, is an issue well-raised.
[From The Evening Star, Washington, D.C., Apr. 27, 1971] DEMOCRATIC ANGER GROWING OVER Nixon's FUND FREEZE
(By Shirley Elder) Democrats on Capitol Hill are moving closer each day to a showdown with President Nixon over spending.
Citing economic problems, Nixon has refused to spend $12.8 billion of funds appropriated by Congress for the fiscal year ending June 30.
The Democrats contend that one solution to those economic problems is to release the money earmarked for specific projects. Most of it is in the construction field. More than $5.5 billion, for instance, was scheduled for highways.
Anger with Nixon is spreading. Hardly a Democratic speech goes by without mention of the funds frozen by the President.
Two approaches are being readied, one aimed at the money currently impounded and one aimed at the future.
House Democratic Whip Thomas P. O'Neill of Massachusetts is introducing a resolution today calling on Nixon to free the appropriated funds. With continuing inflation and rising unemployment, he says, the money is necessary to revitalize the economy.
On the Senate side, Sam J. Ervin, D-N.C., chairman of the Constitutional Rights subcommitee, is concerned over what he feels is a presidential grab of congressional power.
He hopes to have a bill ready by the end of the week that would require formal notice to Congress whenever the President decides to withhold or delay spending. Congress than would have time to vote its disapproval.
Neither of these approaches, even if cleared by both the House and the Senate, assures Congress the upper hand in financial matters. Nixon can continue to ignore commands from Capitol Hill. But Democrats are confident that would be politically careless for him.
The economy and its ills are being developed as the Democratic party's major issue for 1972. While demanding release of the frozen funds, the congressmen also are working on other legislative projects, such as higher minimum wages and public service jobs.
In addition to highway money, the list of impounded funds includes $1.3 billion for the military, principally Navy ships, $38 million in antipoverty money, $191 million for Appalachia, $235 million for the Forest Service mostly planned for roads and trails, $942 million in low-rent public housing, $200 million for water and sewer grants and $583 million for model cities.
In a related matter, Rep. B. F. Sisk, D-Calif., has introduced a resolution to try to get at the roots of administration money policies. He suggests expanding the authority of the House Government Operations Committee to investigate Nixon's new Office of Management and Budget.
(From The New York Times, Apr. 14, 1971)
ELLENDER SUGGESTS CONGRESS COULD FREE IMPOUNDED FUNDS BY HALTING
OUTLAYS FOR NIXON PROGRAMS
(By John W. Finney) Washington, April 13–Senator Allen J. Ellender, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, raised the threat today that Congress would withhold funds for Administration programs unless the White House frees some $13-billion in impounded funds already appropriated by Congress.
The threat was the latest move in a constitutional as well as political confrontation developing between Congress and the Executive branch over the President's right to impound money appropriated by Congress.
The issue is not a new one, but it has been aggravated again by the Nixon Administration's stand in withholding $12.8-billion in funās appropriated by Congress for some 40 domestic programs.
The Administration justification is that the President is under no constitutional mandate to spend moneys appropriated by Congress and that it is simply following past Presidential practice by withholding funds for economic and procedural reasons, as well as to comply with a Congressional limitation on over-all Government spending.
But to many in Congress, on an issue that has brought together conservatives and liberals, the Executive branch is thwarting the will of Congress and in the process eroding Congress's constitutional control over the purse strings.
Senator Ellender suggested that perhaps the Congressional response to the Administration's stand should be a "get-tough policy" of refusing to appropriate funds for other domestic programs proposed by the Administration until the impounded funds are released.
60-337 0_71- 40
“Although in the past I have tried to judge each issue on its merits," the Louisiana Democrat said, “I myself am being brought around slowly to this point of view, particularly in areas where it seems the welfare of foreigners is being given priority over that of our own people."
He noted that the Administration, after impounding nearly $13-billion for domestic programs, had come to Congress with a request for an additional $733-million for foreign aid.
To Senator Ellender, the issue was one of whether Congress or the Executive branch would determine spending priorities.
"We are dealing here with the establishment of national priorities in matters of finance," he said. “Some faceless individual is saying this is what we should do and will do. Congress is being told to go jump in the Red River waterway, if it ever gets built."
Senator Ellender criticized the Administration's budgetary actions in a speech prepared for delivery in Shreveport, La., before the Red River Valley Association. Nearly $3-million in funds for the Red River waterway has been impounded by the Administration.
To others in Congress, the issue, while related to determination of national priorities, goes deeper and relates to the preservation of the balance of powers between Congress and the Executive branch and in particular to protection of Congress's basic control over the purse strings through the constitutional power to make appropriations.
To the delight of the liberals, who have been upset over the impounding of funds for domestic programs begun in Democratic administrations, the leadership in this Congressional cause has been assumed by Senator Sam J. Ervin Jr. of North Carolina, a Democratic conservative who is regarded as one of the Senate's leading constitutional authorities.
Before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Separation of Powers, which he heads, Senator Ervin recently complained that “the growing practice" of Executive impoundment "poses a threat to our system of government and patently violates the separation of powers doctrine."
By impounding funds, he said, "the President is able to modify, reshape or nullify completely laws passed by Congress, thus making policy through Exective power, an exercise of his office, which, as any elementary student of government knows, flies directly in the face of constitutional principles."
In much the same manner that the Senate liberals and conservatives are trying to establish legislative restrictions on the President's war-making powers, Congress on the domestic front, is beginning to grapple with the issue of how to give the Presidency flexibility to carry out economic and fiscal policies and still protect Congress's constitutional power of the purse.
(From The New York Times, Mar. 4, 1971)
SPARKMAN ASSAILS NIXON FOR REFUSING TO SPEND $8-BILLION
(By John Herbers) Washington, March 3–Senator John J. Sparkman, Democrat of Alabama, attacked the Nixon Administration today for "impounding" more than $8 billion in appropriated funds for various programs, primarily domestic. He said that this constituted a “serious breach of faith" with Congress. - The $8-billion figure was a preliminary estimate made by George P. Shultz Director of the Office of Management and Budget, last week before the House Appropriations Committee. That portion of his testimony attracted little at tention at the ime.
SPARKMAN SCORES NIXON ON FUNDS
Senator Sparkman's criticism, which was uncharacteristically harsh, came as the Housing and Urban Affairs Subcommittee, which he heads, opened hearings into the withholding of some $1-billion from housing, transportation, public works and other urban programs.
Mayors Thomas J. D'Alesandro of Baltimore and Lee Alexander of Syracuse. appearing in behalf of the National League of cities and the United States Conference of Mayors, said the cutback "is placing an added burden on already beleaguered cities."
ERVIN PLANS HEARINGS
The Administration action, which has not been fully explained has aroused concern and anger in both houses of Congress. Senator Sam J. Ervin Jr., Democrat of North Carolina, a fiscal conservative, announced that the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Separation of Powers would hold hearings March 23-25 on the issue.
"What concerns me,” Senator Ervin said, “is the use of the impounding practice to avoid or nullify Congressional intent. All too frequently, when Congress votes substantially more funds for a program than the executive branch requested, the President signs the appropriation bill, then directs the Office of Management and Budget not to release the funds to the agencies designated to carry out the program in question."
Representative Joe L. Evins, Democrat of Tennessee, a ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, said the practice amounts to "item veto," a power the President does not have under the Constitution.
This is an old dispute between Congress and the Executive branch. Mr. Shultz, under questioning by Mr. Evins last week, said it had been established that a Congressional appropriation did not carry with it a mandate that the money be spent.
What aroused members of Congress anew was the large amount of money involved, the damage Mayors say is being done to urban programs and the fact that the Administration is pushing a full employment budget to expand the economy.
"We are getting complaints from all over the country about this,” Senator, Sparkman said. “Our best job-producing programs are being impaired at the same time we are presented a deficit budget for the purpose of cutting unemployment. Does it make sense ?"
George Romney, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and officials of the Office of Management and Budget are to testify tomorrow as to the reasons for the funds not being spent.
Some of the Mayors have said privately that they suspect the money is being withheld as a means of garnering support for President Nixon's proposal for general and special revenue-sharing with the states and local governments and in order to carry out the Administration's own priorities in the urban area.
They contend that the programs that have been cut the deepest are those that have been consistently unpopular with the White House.
PUBLIC HOUSING CUT As an example, Mayor D'Alesandro said today that "officials from H.U.D. and from the White House and 0.M.B. tell us that this Administration doesn't like public housing" and would like to put more emphasis on the subsidized private housing programs.
Public housing projects throughout the country, he said, are being curtailed because the Administration is withholding $192-million on contract authority.
"Each year," Mr. D'Alesandro said, "the representatives of the cities come before the Congress, along with the Administration, to debate the needs of our urban areas. First, we debate the size of the authorization request.
“Then, we return to the Hill to argue for full appropriations. Each time, the Administration presents its arguments, usually for lower levels of funding in the programs we are discussing today. Now, however, the Administration has seen fit to carry the debate one step further. Apparently, we must return to the Congress once again to argue whether the monies, which have already been authorized and appropriated, will in fact be spent."
The Mayors contended that the funds withheld included $200-million for urban renewal, $200-million for water and sewer facilities and $430-million for mass transit.
'INTENSIVE DISCUSSION' Mayor Alexander pointed out, however, that after "several weeks of intensive discussion" the Administration had decided to obligate all the Model Cities funds appropriated by Congress. The backlog in appropriated money for Model Cities, caused in part by the impounding of funds, is now more than $700-million, more than the annual appropriation of $575-million.
Mr. Alexander said the Mayors were supporting President Nixon's proposal to return $5-billion in the first full year to the state and local governments in general revenue-sharing.