Proposed Rescission of General Criminal Justice and Corrections Grant Funds

OGC-78-3: Published: Oct 28, 1977. Publicly Released: Oct 28, 1977.

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The President's first special message for fiscal year 1978 pursuant to the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 proposed the rescission of $2.668 million in general criminal justice and corrections grant funds appropriated to the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA). However, the proposed legislative language submitted for congressional approval with the rescission request does not propose the rescission of the money but rather the transfer of the funds.

The proposal states that the funds sought for rescission are monies that reverted to LEAA for general application since the states and local governments to which they were allocated did not use them. Although the message indicates that LEAA could use the monies, the President stated that a greater need for the funds exists in other activities of the Department of Justice. Accordingly, the $2.668 million has been proposed for transfer to those accounts. The proposal to rescind the budget authority is inconsistent with seeking its transfer. The President should have proposed a deferral of the monies in the LEAA account pending congressional action on the legislative request to transfer the funds. By so doing, Congress has an opportunity to demand release of the funds to LEAA, and, in the absence of such congressional action, the budget authority is preserved for use in either the original LEAA account or Justice accounts, depending on the congressional disposition of the transfer request. The authority of section 1015 of the act is exercised to convert the rescission proposal to a proposed deferral of the $2.668 million.

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