« PreviousContinue »
arose for it to do so. We have seen something go through the Congress in a period of 24 hours when that is required, but I think if you were to take the tradition as Mr. Cohen was suggesting on the handling of supplemental appropriations, you would find that the period from the time that there was a determination of need until funds were available to carry out that need by a supplemental appropriation would range anywhere from 7 months to 2 months. It is also unlikely that you can find anything except a very extraordinary incident in which that time lag was less than 2 months in duration.
We had an example of a development involving viruses as the potential causation of cancer, in which there was a desire to exploit the research findings. In this particular instance the Congress became aware of the problem concurrently with our becoming aware of it, and prior to the actual submission of a supplemental appropriation request the Appropriations Committee took testimony on it and put it into our regular appropriation bill which was then under consideration by the Congress.
This was probably the most rapid method by which you could handle that particular transaction. It took about 4 months from the time that this illustration came up until we actually had the funds available.
Now, the particular problem that you were talking about on the development of the German measles vaccine, this work is being done in part by the Division of Biologic Standards of the National Institutes of Health.
This is a relatively small appropriation. The exact amount of it I don't recall, but it is an appropriation of less than $10 million that relates to all of the problems associated with licensing biologic products. Scientists in the Division are the ones that have done much of the work on the development of this vaccine.
The Division does not have any resources except this small appropriation; and, if you want to move this project into expensive field trials, at some particular point you have to find some way of doing it, because within that appropriation, although you think of the National Institutes of Health as being an organization funded in excess of a billion dollars, when you take this into individual pieces, and the planned use of those pieces, and the commitments that have already been made against them, these amounts are not large.
In this particular instance, the problem is associated with a very small appropriation which is within the National Institutes of Health. But there is no availability for transfer of funds between the various accounts of the National Institutes of Health, so that whichever account has the responsibility is the one that has to organize and fund it.
Mr. Brown. If Mr. Rogers will be patient with me for one moment, further, let's go back to the example of the virus causal effect in cancer.
Let me ask you if in this 4-month lag which you described you had actually any delay in putting the program into effect as a result of that 4-month lag time?
Mr. KELLY. I think that we could have gained from the availability of the 4 months in launching the exploitation of this finding. It turned out to be a long-range investigation that has resulted
from this finding including the development of new facilities which had never been developed before.
Mr. BROWN. But with this kind of early commitment by Congress, in other words, this willingness to take testimony in advance of the actual presentation of the request for funds and so forth, isn't it true that you can also go ahead and begin to presume your plans and frequently do perhaps up to the point where you take the legal steps to put them into effect; in other words, sign a contract or in effect commit yourselves?
This is what I am trying to find out. How important is it that the cash be on hand, and how important is it that we presume that the Congress is going to act fast enough?
Mr. KELLY. I think your point is well taken and necessarily, in order to carry out any amount of work, you have to do some planning.
The very presentation of a budget constitutes this planning, that you have identified the problem, how you will approach the problem and what the next steps are; but by and large, this is the planning which was done prior to being able to present the estimate and prior to being able to present testimony with respect to it so that this loss of time is really occurring to a marked degree after this initial preliminary planning has been done.
Don't misunderstand. You know, and I know, that we do divert staff resources to try and get as far along as we can in moving down the road. I thing that we have had examples in the past that indicate the extent to which a greater degree of flexibility would have been useful.
I think that you can foresee this problem occurring in the future that makes this an important piece of flexibility for the Secretary. We are not asking, however, in any sense as I see it for a blank check.
One, we are asking for the legislative committees to authorize the use of a contingency fund. We are asking for the appropriations committees to then implement that provision and tell us each year that we are authorized to use it and the extent that we can use it.
We are suggesing that we give to the Congress a report 10 days in advance of its use of our intention to use it and an annual report on our use of the fund.
MF. JARMAN. The Chair hates to interrupt, because this is an important and, perhaps, maybe a controversial part of the bill before us, but I might point out that we do hope to finish with this part of the hearing by 12 o'clock this morning, since we have a full agenda of witnesses for tomorrow. If that deadline can be kept in mind with several other members of the committee yet to ask questions, the Chair would appreciate it.
Perhaps this matter can be developed more completely from the Secretary and Mr. Kelly, and others, in the materials which you submit to the committee.
Mr. KELLY. We would be glad to submit data on the time lag involved in receiving supplemental appropriations.
(The information follows:)
Chronological history of Department of Health, Education, and Welfare supplemental
appropriations, fiscal years 1962-67
(In thousands of dollars)
Sept. 30, 1961
Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1962. Department of Health, Educa
tion, and Welfare items.
July 25, 1962
2d Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1962. Department of Health, Educa
tion, and Welfare items. Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1963. Department of Health, Educa
tion, and Welfare items.
Supplemental appropriations, De
partment of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1964. Department of Health, Educa
tion, and Welfare items. Deficiency Appropriation Act, 1964...
Department of Health, Educa
tion, and Welfare items. Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1965. Department of Health, Educa
tion, and Welfare items. 2d Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1965. Department of Health, Educa
tion, and Welfare items.
Departments of Labor, and Health,
Education, and Welfare Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1966. Department of Health, Educa
tion, and Welfare items. Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1966. Department of Health, Educa
tion, and Welfare items.
Oct. 31, 1965
May 13, 1966
Second Supplemental Appropriation
tion, and Welfare items. Supplemental Appropria ion Act, 1967. Department of Health, Educa
tion, and Welfare items.
Oct. 27, 1966
$1, 125, 222
253, 579 July 13, 1961 (H. Doc. 210); Aug. 8,
1961 (H. Doc. 217); Aug. 14, 1961 (H. Doc. 224); Sept. 18, 1961
(S. Doc. 51). 373, 551 16, 526
Feb. 7, 1962 (H. Doc. 333); Apr. 3,
1962 (S. Doc. 83). 1, 467, 230 216, 753 Aug. 13, 1962 (H. Doc. 514); Sept. 28,
1962 (S. Doc. 149); H. Doc. 514 resubmitted on Feb. 7, 1963 (H.
Doc. 61); Feb. 11, 1963 (H. Doc. 63). 289, 688
289, 258 Nov. 21, 1963 (H. Doc. 174); Jan.
21, 1964 (H. Doc. 203). 1, 336, 687 160,350 Jan. 21, 1964 (H. Doc. 203); May 25,
1965 (S. Doc. 77). 1, 117, 196
69, 750 2, 227, 564
July 20, 1964 (H. Doc. 318); Aug. 14,
1964 (H. Doc. 342).
Mar. 2, 1965 (H. Doc. 98); Mar. 15,
1965 (H. Doc. 110); Mar. 15, 1965 (H. Doc. 111); Mar. 16, 1965 (H. Doc. 119).
1, 223, 182
Apr. 19, 1965 (H. Doc. 147); Apr. 22, 1965 (H. Doc. 149); June 24, 1965 (H. Doc. 220).
4, 741, 645
Aug. 26, 1965 (H. Doc. 278); Sept.
29, 1965 (H. Doc. 295); Oct. 5, 1965 (H. Doc. 298); Oct. 8, 1965 (S. Doc. 62); Oct. 15, 1965 (S. Doc. 63); Oct. 18, 1965 (S. Doc. 65).
2, 788, 143
Feb. 14, 1966 (H. Doc. 380): Feb. 21,
1966 (H. Doc. 383); Mar. 8, 1966 (H. Doc. 405).
5, 025, 265
2, 177, 179
Jan. 24, 1966 (H. Doc. 335); Oct. 5.
1966 (II. Doc. 505); Oct. 11, 1966 (H. Doc. 521); June 24, 1966 (S. Doc. 96); Oct. 17, 1966 (S. Doc. 117).
Mr. JARMAN. Mr. Rogers?
Recently, I received a letter from Dr. Vail, of Minnesota, dealing with the question of flexibility in the program and here is what he said:
I would bring you up to date on some of the problems we are having in implementing the Federal provisions at the state level, at least here in Minnesota.
The simplest way to do this, it seems to me, is to send you copies of the letters that I have written to Senator McCarthy and Representative Rogers, together with the stock answer received from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
There is nothing to add to this point. I think our quarrel is not with the theory of the Federal concept of community mental health centers, but with the administratives practice, especially the requirement to prepare cumbersome plans for mental health centers in addition to the regular mental health plan which we write each year in order to qualify.
Generally, I would have to say that I favor the categorization of the welcoming of the correction of one comprehensive plan to the state of mental health programs that would require one plan for the entirety of the state mental health program.
I recall a meeting at the White House a couple of years ago in which it was the declared intention of HEW to move in the direction of giving the State more flexibility in the use of the funds. In some of these community health centers the facilities are there, and the staffing problem is more important than the bricks and mortar. In other cases the opposite is true.
I wonder if you wish to comment on this particular complaint ?
Mr. COHEN. Yes. Let me make a brief statement and then I will ask Dr. Yolles to talk about it.
I also received a letter from Dr. Vail and I suppose I gave him what he refers to as a “stock answer.'
.” But I do wish to say that at the time I received his letter, I immediately communicated with Dr. Yolles, who is in charge of this program, to study the points that Dr. Vail made.
I established, at least to my own satisfaction, though perhaps not to Dr. Vail's, that we were trying to do two things that make it very difficult to carry out what Dr. Vail had proposed.
On the one hand, it is the professed objective both of the President and the Department, to give the States and the localities a greater degree of discretion in the use of Federal funds. But at the same time both the substantive committee—(this committee)—and the Appropriations Committee hold us responsible for making an account of our stewardship in terms of what the money was appropriated for. Many of the so-called provisions and restrictions or requirements in the submittal of information, particularly those of which Dr. Vail has sometimes been critical are an attempt to be able to supply the substantive committee and the Appropriations Committee with all the information that they think is necessary to assure that Federal funds have been spent for the purpose for which they were appropriated. That requires us to collect a good deal of information to assure ourselves that the money has not been misspent, that is, misspent in the sense of not having been directed toward the primary purpose for which Congress appropriated the money.
I do think that there is a basis for giving the States more flexibility in programs once the program has been started. You will recall, for example, that we came in here 4 or 5 years ago requesting that the
States be given greater flexibility in the Hill-Burton program for modernization.
The committee very seriously restricted our ability to give the States that flexibility because they said, “We want to see this primary objective retained." I would say, Mr. Nelsen, that while the objective is sound, I think that also our administrators feel that we must be very carefully responsive to the congressional will. We want to be sure that we can account for the money in terms of the authorization that Congress has given us.
Perhaps Dr. Yolles would like to amplify on that in terms of Dr. Vail's points.
Dr. YOLLES. I would like to comment briefly, Mr. Nelsen.
I might say that I have commented on this point before regarding Dr. Vail. Dr. Vail's principal concern is with the "minutiae” as he calls them, of the State plan which must be submitted.
There are certain requirements in Public Law 88–164 which I consider to be very wise provisions of the Congress.
Before one sets up a program, especially in a field like mental health where there is such a tremendous need for services throughout the United States, the State must take into account which of its own areas have the greatest need. It needs to divide the State into areas which set forth the relative need for services.
It must also provide in the State plan an inventory of resources and services that presently exist so that these can be built into and not be duplicated by the new service to be rendered. It is this type of requirement which is in the law that Dr. Vail objects to.
Perhaps my last point is not entirely germane. However, it is that Dr. Vail has been the most outspoken objector to this requirement for providing such information and yet he was the first to submit a State plan in excellent form.
Mr. NELSEN. I appreciate the problem you face and might also mention that obviously, you are moving in the direction of attempting to provide for greater flexibility which I think is the direction in which all of us would like to move.
At the same time, I understand your concern. Getting to section 401(e) of the bill, this, of course, will also provide for the mental retardation centers; would it not?
Dr. YOLLES. Section 401(e) provides for altering the definition of the term of construction to allow for the acquisition of existing buildings.
Mr. NELSEN. Yes. Getting back to my problem of mental retardation day care centers and training centers, this has been an obvious area where attention is needed.
Out in my district we have under the poverty program one day care center and staffing is a tremendous problem. We have another one, using the little school building that I have talked about so many times, now under operation largely through voluntary subscription.
As far as acquisition of buildings is concerned, this seems to be the lesser of the problems. We find many hospital buildings that are vacated because they need new and larger facilities.
We find many school buildings vacated, very good centers with playgrounds and what-have-you. Looking to the future, is there a