A-48724, DEC. 7, 1960

A-48724: Dec 7, 1960

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COVERING ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED BY THE FIRM OF CRAM. WAS FULLY CONSIDERED BY FORMER COMPTROLLERS GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES WHO HELD IN DECISIONS DATED AUGUST 30. DID NOT HAVE SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO WARRANT ALLOWANCE BY OUR OFFICE OR ITS BEING REPORTED TO THE CONGRESS FOR CONSIDERATION FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION. COPIES OF THOSE DECISIONS ARE ENCLOSED. THE RECORD FURTHER INDICATES THAT SEVERAL BILLS FOR THE RELIEF OF THE CLAIMANTS WERE LATER INTRODUCED IN BOTH HOUSES OF THE CONGRESS BUT THAT NO FAVORABLE ACTION WAS TAKEN BY THE CONGRESS WITH REFERENCE TO ANY SUCH BILLS. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT UNDER SECTION 1 OF ARTICLE I OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION EXCLUSIVE LEGISLATIVE POWERS ARE VESTED IN THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES.

A-48724, DEC. 7, 1960

TO MR. RALPH W. CRAM:

YOUR LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 15, 1960, ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, CONCERNING THE MATTER OF A CLAIM AGAINST THE UNITED STATES BY YOUR FATHER, RALPH ADAMS CRAM, AND OTHERS, NOW DECEASED, HAS BEEN REFERRED TO OUR OFFICE FOR REPLY.

OUR RECORDS SHOW THAT A CLAIM IN AN AGGREGATE AMOUNT OF $42,777.71, COVERING ADDITIONAL COMPENSATION FOR ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN PERFORMED BY THE FIRM OF CRAM, GOODHUE AND FERGUSON, ARCHITECTS, IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF CERTAIN BUILDINGS AT THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY, WEST POINT, NEW YORK, WAS FULLY CONSIDERED BY FORMER COMPTROLLERS GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES WHO HELD IN DECISIONS DATED AUGUST 30, 1933, SEPTEMBER 26, 1934, AND MAY 21, 1942, THAT THE CLAIM, INVOLVING CONTRACTS EXECUTED OVER 20 YEARS PREVIOUSLY, DID NOT HAVE SUCH ELEMENTS OF LEGAL LIABILITY OR EQUITY AS TO WARRANT ALLOWANCE BY OUR OFFICE OR ITS BEING REPORTED TO THE CONGRESS FOR CONSIDERATION FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION. COPIES OF THOSE DECISIONS ARE ENCLOSED. THE RECORD FURTHER INDICATES THAT SEVERAL BILLS FOR THE RELIEF OF THE CLAIMANTS WERE LATER INTRODUCED IN BOTH HOUSES OF THE CONGRESS BUT THAT NO FAVORABLE ACTION WAS TAKEN BY THE CONGRESS WITH REFERENCE TO ANY SUCH BILLS.

REGARDING YOUR INQUIRY AS TO WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT CAN "SHELVE" BILLS IN THIS MANNER, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT UNDER SECTION 1 OF ARTICLE I OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION EXCLUSIVE LEGISLATIVE POWERS ARE VESTED IN THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES.