Updated Rescission Statistics, Fiscal Years 1974-2011

B-322906: Jul 19, 2012

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Shirley Jones
(202) 512-8156


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

This letter contains an updated package of GAO’s statistical data concerning rescissions proposed and enacted since the passage of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. In response to a Congressional request, this letter updates the statistics through fiscal year 2011. Under the Impoundment Control Act, whenever the President proposes discretionary budget authority for rescission, he must transmit a special message to Congress detailing the amounts, reasons for, and effect of the proposed rescission. Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act, Pub. L. No. 93-344, title X, 88 Stat. 297, 332 (July 12, 1974), codified at 2 U.S.C. §§ 682-688. Agencies may withhold from obligation budget authority proposed for rescission in a special message for up to 45 legislative days following submission of the special message. 2 U.S.C. § 683(b). If Congress does not pass rescission legislation within this 45-day period, the budget authority must be released. Alternately, Congress, through the annual appropriations process, may initiate the rescission of budget authority. 2 U.S.C. § 688.