President's Twelfth Special Message for FY 1981

OGC-81-15: Published: Aug 17, 1981. Publicly Released: Aug 17, 1981.

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The President's twelfth special message concerning fiscal year 1981 was transmitted to Congress.

The special message proposed a new rescission of $173.0 million, 10 new deferrals totalling $495.1 million, and revisions to four previously reported deferrals totalling $76.4 million. Based on the current legislative calendar, the fiscal year will expire before the end of the 45-day period of continuous session during which the funds may be withheld pending congressional consideration of a rescission bill. Consequently, the requirement of the Impoundment Control Act that the funds be made available at the end of the prescribed 45-day period will not affect the funds proposed for rescission. Proposing rescissions and withholding the funds late in the fiscal year is troublesome because it may operate to preclude full and prudent use of the budget authority should Congress decline to enact a rescission bill. Proposing deferrals late in the fiscal year raises similar concerns. Even if Congress disapproves any of the deferrals proposed in this message, there may not be enough time remaining in the fiscal year for agencies to obligate the funds prudently. Therefore, GAO encourages the President to propose impoundments as early in the fiscal year as possible to afford Congress the opportunity to effectively respond to such proposals.

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