Status of Budget Authority Proposed for Deferral

OGC-80-19: Published: Aug 14, 1980. Publicly Released: Aug 14, 1980.

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The President's seventh special message for fiscal year 1980 included proposed deferrals of $15.5 million available to the National Park Service for construction of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel Project, $190.8 million available to the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) for employment and training assistance, and $3.6 billion available to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for construction grants. In an expression of disapproval of these deferrals, the Senate passed two impoundment resolutions. The Impoundment Control Act of 1974 requires that any amount of budget authority proposed to be deferred shall be made available for obligation if either House of Congress passes an impoundment resolution disapproving such proposed deferral.

GAO has confirmed that the budget authority covered by the deferrals of Forest Service and EPA funds have been properly apportioned for allotment to the programs involved. The impoundment resolution concerning the ETA funds disapproved only a portion of the funds proposed for deferral. However, an impoundment resolution gives either House of Congress the opportunity to disapprove only an entire deferral, not a portion of a deferral. Therefore, it was concluded that this Senate action was not legally binding. Nevertheless, it was confirmed that the portion of funds disapproved of in the resolution was apportioned on July 14, 1980.

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