title II—BUDGET PROCESS REFORM
Section 207. Clarification of Congressional Intent Regarding Rescission Authority.
Section 1012(b) of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following: “Funds made available for obligation under this procedure may not be proposed for rescission again.”.
Joint Explanatory Statement (BBEDCRA 1987)
The Joint Explanatory Statement of the Managers of Conference on the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Reaffirmation Act of 1987 included this description:
10. Clarification of Congressional Intent Regarding Rescission Authority
Section 1012(b) of the 1974 Impoundment Control Act empowers the President to withhold spending appropriated funds during a period of 45 days of continuous session while Congress considers a rescission proposal. Under General Accounting Office interpretations which allow preparation time for the submittal message, and because certain days are not counted as days of continuous session, rescission proposals sometimes result in appropriated funds being withheld for up to 75 or more calendar days. Seriatim proposals covering the same subject matter have the effect of extending indefinitely the period of unavailability.
The Senate amendment (Section 230) adds language to Section 1012(b) to prohibit the Executive practice of submitting seriatim rescission messages covering similar matter when Congress fails to act on such proposals within the statutory 45-day period. The Senate amendment limits the Executive to one rescission proposal in any year regarding substantially the same budget authority.
The Conference Agreement amends Section 1012(b) of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 to prohibit proposals to rescind budget authority which were the object of a previous rescission proposal not accepted by Congress. The conferees intend that the President be allowed to propose one rescission for any given activity. If the rescission proposal for that activity is not agreed to by Congress, no further rescission proposal for that activity would be allowed during the availability of that appropriation.
The conference agreement is not meant to diminish the restriction on the Executive from the Senate amendment. The conferees intend that the conference agreement will cover cases in which the Executive seeks to rescind substantially the same budget authority, not just exactly the same budget authority.
The conferees intend that authority granted to the President under this Act regarding the sequestration process shall in no way augment the authority available to him, and the requirements imposed on him, under existing law regarding the deferral or rescission of funds.
U.S. House of Representatives, Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Reaffirmation Act of 1987: Conference Report to Accompany H. J. Res. 324, House Ways and Means Committee (H. Rept. 100-313) September 21, 1987.