Congressional Approval of the President's Pay Recommendations

B-199522: Published: Mar 2, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1985.

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An opinion was requested as to whether the current Continuing Resolution would have to be amended in order for Congress to approve the President's pay recommendations. GAO believes that it would not since the approval of salary increases operates as a repeal of continuing pay limitations. This opinion is based on four propositions: (1) the statute under which congressional approval would occur provides that all prior inconsistent provisions of law be considered modified; (2) limitations on pay contained in appropriation acts have consistently been construed as pay rescissions rather than as accounts due but not payable for lack of available funds; (3) congressional approval of pay raises would be inconsistent with any prior law limiting pay below the level approved; and (4) prior pay limitations would be inoperative on the basis of inconsistency.

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