[Response to Request for Comments on H.R. 4205]

B-222693: Published: Jul 21, 1986. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO commented on H.R. 4205, which would amend the Impoundment Control Act to require the President to release budget authority withheld pursuant to a deferral unless, within 45 days of continuous congressional session after the date on which Congress received the proposal, Congress passed a bill approving the proposed budget authority deferral. Under the act, a one-house veto is the method Congress uses to disapprove deferrals; however, a Supreme Court decision cast doubt on the constitutionality of the veto provision. GAO proposed that: (1) the President be required to specify in his deferral message a certain date on which he would release the reported budget authority deferral; (2) the act be amended to state that no budget authority can be withheld for any reason after that date without further congressional authorization; and (3) the date for each deferral be no later than that date on which funds must be made available in order to ensure obligation in a prudent and orderly manner.

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