Budget Process Law Annotated (1993)
Impoundment Control Act of 1974
reports by comptroller general
Sec. 1015.1062 (a) Failure To Transmit Special Message.—If the Comptroller General funds that the President, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the bead of any department or agency of the United States, or any other officer or employee of the United States—
(1) is to establish a reserve or proposes to defer budget authority1063 with respect to which the President is required to transmit a special message under section 10121064 or 1013;1065 or
(2) has ordered, permitted, or approved the establishment of such a reserve or a deferral of budget authority;
and that the President has failed to transmit a special message with respect to such reserve or deferral, the Comptroller General shall make a report on such reserve or deferral and any available information concerning it to both Houses of Congress. The provisions of this part shall apply with respect to such reserve or deferral in the same manner and with the same effect as if such report of the Comptroller General were [p. 390] a special message transmitted by the President under section 10121066 or 1013,1067 and, for purposes of this part, such report shall be considered a special message transmitted under section 10121068 or 1013. 1069
(b) Incorrect Classification of Special Message.—If the President has transmitted a special message to both Houses of Congress in accordance with section 10121070 or 1013,1071 and the Comptroller General believes that the President so transmitted the special message in accordance with one of those sections when the special message should have been transmitted in accordance with the other of those sections, the Comptroller General shall make a report to both Houses of the Congress setting forth his reasons.1072
1062. Section 1015 is codified at 2 U.S.C. 686 (1988). Section 206(c) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Reaffirmation Act of 1987, entitled “Codification of Law Regarding Deferral Authority,” provides: “Sections 1015 and 1016 of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 are reaffirmed”. Pub. L. 100-119, § 206(c), 101 Stat. 754. 786 (1987). For an excerpt from the joint statement of managers accompanying that bill, see infra note 1072 (at the end of this section).
1063. Section 1011(1) defines “deferral of budget authority”. See supra p. 375. Section 3(2) defines “budget authority”. See supra pp. 11-13.
1064. See supra pp. 378-380.
1065. See supra pp. 381-384.
1066. See supra pp. 378-380.
1067. See supra pp. 381-384.
1068. See supra pp. 378-380.
1069. See supra pp. 381-384.
1070. See supra pp. 378-380.
1071. See supra pp. 381-384.
1072. Section 206(c) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Reaffirmation Act of 1987 entitled “Codification of Law Regarding Deferral Authority,” provides: “Sections 1015 and 1016 of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 are reaffirmed”. Pub. L No. 100-119, 206(c), 101 Stat. 754, 786 (1987). The joint statement of managers accompanying the conference report on the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Reaffirmation Act of 1987 explained:
9. Codification of Law Regarding Deferral Authority
The Supreme Court in Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983), held legislative vetoes unconstitutional. Applying Chadha, the Court of Appeals in City of New Haven v. United States, 809 F. 2d 900 (D.C. Cir. 1987), struck down Section 1013 of the 1974 Impoundment Control Act, dealing with deferrals, [thereby denying the President his sole statutory authority to make deferrals for policy reasons. The Court noted its view that the Executive’s power to defer was now limited to so-call programmatic deferrals under the Antideficiency Act, which it characterized as dealing with “routine” and “trivial” matters “relating to the normal and orderly operation of the Government that Congress expected to present little controversy”. The reporting requirements of Section 1013 have continued in force by virtue of other statutory reference to that section.]
Section 1015 of the 1974 Impoundment Control Act directs the Comptroller General to report to Congress when he determines that the President has failed to transmit a special message with respect to a deferral or rescission, or has incorrectly classified an action in such message. Section 1016 of the Act empowers the Comptroller General to bring a civil action to require that unlawfully impounded budget authority be made available for obligation. The Comptroller General has expressed the view that he lacks authority to take any action to compel the release of impounded funds since such authority was linked to the invalidated Section 1013.
The Senate amendment (Section 229) enacts a new Section 1013 that codifies the New Haven decision and General Accounting Office administrative interpretations by prohibiting policy deferrals and providing that deferrals will be permissible only: (1) for contingencies, (2) for efficiency, or (3) as specifically provided for by law. [Programmatic deferrals must be reported to the Congress and be accompanied by a detailed description and justification of the proposal. Deferrals may not be proposed for any period extending beyond the end of the fiscal year in which the proposal is reported.]
The Senate amendment also reaffirms the Comptroller General’s authority under Sections 1015 and 1016 of the Act to initiate suits to compel the release of impounded funds and his duty to safeguard Congress’ institutional interest in the spending process.
The House recedes and concurs in the Senate amendment.
H. Rep. 100-313 (Conference Report pp. 66-67), 100th Cong., 1st Sess. (1987), reprinted in 1987 U.S.C.C.A.N. 739, 766-67.
 Text in brackets included here is omitted from the BPLA.
 Text in brackets included here is omitted from the BPLA.
Sec. 1014 (BPLA)
Sec. 1016 (BPLA)