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bought its way lawlessly into power, might then consider itself entitled to do during a second term in which its power was virtually unchecked."
People, like the readers of this newspaper, who care about the integrity of our public processes should consider this question carefully before they vote to return Mr. Nixon and his associates to power. The way it has been working these past four years should not be the way the system works.
[From the Washington Post, Feb. 12, 1973)
CUTBACKS PLANNED IN SOCIAL SERVICES
(By Austin Scott) The Nixon administration is preparing to make major changes in the way the federal government supports programs in day care, aid to the elderly, mental retardation, juvenile delinquency, and other social services.
Although new social services regulations aren't scheduled to be announced by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for another week or so, some affected groups have obtained copies and are gearing up for a fight.
Rep. Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.), a vocal supporter of day-care centers, denounced the new proposals as "unconscionable," and said she will call for congressional hearings into their effect on day care. Arkansas Gov. Dale Bumpers said parts of them are "patently absurd."
While the proposed new regulations would change the ground rules for federal aid to a number of important social services programs, most of the comment so far has been aimed at their effect on day care.
As written now, they would eliminate existing mandatory federal child care standards, and end the $3 in matching money that the federal government gives for every $1 private contributions. However, they would permit the government to continue matching, 3 for 1, state and local funds.
That end to the federal matching of private money applies to all the programs, not just day care, and it is what Bumpers termed "patently absurd."
"To give you an example of the effect it would have on our mental retardation program," he said, "when I was elected [in 1970] we had fewer than 20 community facilities caring for a little less than 400 children.
“In the past year and a half . . . we have expanded that to 82 facilities caring for over 2,000 children.
“Quite frankly, with the guidelines prohibiting the use of private funds and the further restrictions ... we will probably wind up closing virtually every one of the new ones we have started in the past year and a half.”
“It's such a bad law I can't conceive of it standing," he said. “I have heard they expect to save $1 billion. My guess would be they'll have $2 billion with the guide lines as they are now."
Among the changes in the proposed regulations are:
Quarterly recertification of applicants for some programs, instead of the yearly recertification.
Tightening day-care eligibility requirements. Current rules allow day care for children who have been on welfare within the past two years, or are prospects for welfare in the next five years. The new ones change those figures to three months and six months, respectively.
Elimination of the “special need” category, allowing services for the handicapped regardless of income.
Elimination of federal money for code enforcement, to make sure state standards are being enforced.
Setting of a maximum income figure for day-care eligibility that in some states works out to below the poverty level for a family of four.
HEW officials point to their plans to increase the amount of money spent on day care, and the number of children covered.
Federal budget estimates show one portion of the government's support for day care jumping from an estimated $82 million under the Work Incentive Program in Fiscal 1973, to $204 million in Fiscal 1974 which will begin July 1.
Some child-care groups, however, are convinced the dropping of federal standards will mean more "warehousing” of children with little attention paid to their education or other needs.
The new regulations drop all reference to existing federal interagency regulations about the ratio of children to adults at day-care centers.
Instead, a set of HEW Model Day Care Codes, currently on Secretary Caspar Weinberger's desk, recommends approximately twice as many children per adult as the standards now in effect.
The opening pages of the Model Day Care Codes indicate they are to be used as guidelines for states to draw up their own codes, but are not requirements.
“It's all a matter of money," said the source who gave a copy of the proposed regulations to the Washington Post, and who asked not to be identified.
"The key thing to remember is that most experts say the child-to-staff ratio accounts for 75 per cent of all the costs. They were spending $800 million for day care at the end of fiscal 1972. If you double the child-to-staff ratio, as they're proposing, that's a saving of $300 million."
"These regulations are unconscionable,” said Rep. Abzug. “They affectively shut out children from middle income families from federally assisted day care, and they will substantially reduce the number of senior citizens eligible for vitally needed services." in
An advance copy of the proposed regulations was floated by the Council of State Governments in November for that group's reaction.
"We are quite sure that the states will have major objections to the denial of the use of private funds for matching," said Allen Jensen, a special assistant on human resources to the group.
“They feel this is a way to have community involvement and community participation in delivering these services."
Jensen estimated that private donations along with the three federal dollars that can now be given for each private dollar, supply about $55 million worth of day-care services around the country.
The private money comes from many sources, including charitable organizations such as United Way, and even bake sales or garage sales conducted by the day-care centers.
Along with eliminating such federal fund matching, the new proposals also eliminate federal matching for the value of “in-kind contributions," such as when furniture or a building a re donated.
A number of experts are saying that politics is playing a heavy role in the federal matching section of the new regulations.
They point out that the government's proposed policy is opposite the position taken by former HEW Secretary Elliot L. Richardson when he said to several members of the House last summer that he supported federal matching for private donations.
The proposed policy, however, does go along with a directive from the Senate Finance Committee, which said during last year's debate over welfare reform that this kind of matching should be stopped.
There are predictions that federal matching for private money will be reinstated before the regulations become final, and the administration will make its real fight over the elimination of federal standards, and a new ban it proposes to place on transferring social services money to other state programs.
"It's a foolish (HEW) Secretary who ignores a directive from the Senate Finance Committee * *
[From the Sun, Baltimore, Md., Jan. 27, 1973]
ALBERT JOINS FUND-FREEZE OPPONENTS
(By Albert Sehlstedt, Jr.) WASHINGTON.--Representative Carl Albert (D., Okla.), the speaker of the House, yesterday joined a growing list of Democrats complaining about President Nixon's refusal to spend some congressionally appropriated funds.
Mr. Albert, often at pains to avoid public criticism of anybody. said, "there's a question of whether they are legislating or we are." By “they”, he meant the Nixon administration.
The speaker, talking to reporters in his office before the House contened. had returned from a White House budget briefing for congressional leaders.
He was obviously annoyed by the administration's moves to cut back on spending in the present fiscal year and suggested that those executive branch decisions constituted a usurpation of the legislative process.
The President, in an effort to keep federal spending within $250 billion, has not spent-or has impounded, to use the Washington word—about $12 billion that Congress had earmarked for various programs. The legislators have demanded an exact accounting of the impounded funds by February 10.
Mr. Albert's concern about the usurpation of congressional prerogatives has been voiced repeatedly by critics of Mr. Nixon's action, notably by Senator Sam J. Ervin, Jr. (D., N.C.), regarded as Capitol Hill's expert on constitutional law.
Senator Ervin said earlier this month that impounding money was a practice "contemptuous of the role of our Congress in the tripartite system” of government.
However, one of the administration's top financial experts has taken the position that there is nothing outrageous about what the White House has done and has argued that impounding by the executive dates back to the presidency of Thomas Jefferson.
Caspar W. Weinberger, the director of the Office of Managiment and Budget who has been nominated by the President to be the next secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, cited the Jeffersonian precedent in appearances before two Senate committees this month.
[From the Evening Star and Daily News, Washington, D.C., Feb. 8, 1973]
COURT BATTLE READIED TO SAVE OEO PROGRAM
(By Philip Shandler) The National Association for Community Development is rounding up support for a court fight against President Nixon's dismantling of the Office of Economic Opportunity.
NACD Executive Director James Boylson said a class-action suit probably will be filed next week in U.S. District Court here. He said other groups are being asked to join the suit.
The NACD is circulating copies of a heretofore unpublished study by OF0— the federal anti-poverty agency–which shows that comm action agencies helped raise about $1.3 billion from a variety of public and private sources to aid the poor.
The study, completed in December, also was cited yesterday before the House Labor Committee's equal opportunity subcommittee, which is holding hearings on President Nixon's budget proposals to abolish the OEO and disperse its service programs among other agencies,
The OEO study was especially aimed at countering administration claims that shifting OEO's community action programs to the local level, with funds coming from revenue sharing, would speed decentralization of government.
The study said OEO's fund-raising efforts created "closer working relationships ... which offer genuine help in making the decentralization of government succeed during the next few years."
OEO SHIFT CHALLENGED
Even before Nixon disclosed his plans for dismantling OEO, congressional experts were saying it could not legally be done without new legislation.
The NACD is an association of anti-poverty workers.
As a practical matter, however, Congress cannot compel the President to take any particular approach, the experts have acknowledged. Thus the House hearings—and similar others expected to be held in several weeks by the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee will be concentrating on showing that an OEO breakup would have a grave impact on communities and individuals.
At the same time, sympathetic Senate aides are telling callers, apprehensive about the future of OEO, to concentrate their lobbying on the House Appropriations Committee.
This is where the budget proposals will first get tackled, a Senate aid noted, commenting: "If the money isn't kept flowing, you can forget about everything else."
A manpower expert from George Washington University and a spokesman for anti-poverty workers urged retention of OEO before the equal opportunity subcommittee.
Both Sar A. Levitan, director of GWU's Center for Manpower Policies Studies, and John Kearse, director of the Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau
County, N.Y., said local community action agencies had enhanced "upward mobility" by rainorities and had galvanized resources against inner-city blight.
The OEO study shows that resources mobilized from industry. institutions and other government units rose in value from $115 million in 1968 to $396 million in 1972. More than 75 percent of this was in cash, the report said.
This “substantiates that there is a large ... local capability as well as local nommitment to problems of the poor," the report said.
"And it showed that local CAAs specifically are a valuable in-place capability for mobilizing community efforts and resources," it said.
OEO sources told the Star-News that the study had been commissioned more than a year ago by Roy Batchelor, who left his position as assistant director for operations Friday, after his requested resignation had been accepted.
The report was at the Government Printing Office and scheduled for reproduction, but was withdrawn a few weeks ago, the sources said.
Top OEO officials could not be contacted yesterday for comment on this.
But acting director Howard Phillips told The New York Times Frid:ly--a day after he took over direction of the agency-that regardless of any previous thinking, the administration current view is that authority for apportioning federal funds generally should be returned to locally elected officials, and not held by para-governmental organizations like the community action agencies.
Since taking over at OEO from Phillip Sanchez, Phillips has frozen communication between OEO headquarters and the CAAS.
He also has replaced about two dozen ranking officials with new appointees, apparently more in line with the reorganization directed by President Nixon, sources said.
Yesterday seven additional guards were assigned to OEO at the agency's request, General Services Administration confirmed. GSA was told that demonstrations were expected at OEO, a spokesman said. But none have materialized so far.
Additional guards also were assigned to the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, whose social programs also face reduction under the Nixon budget.
Administration officials have been emphasizing that cities and states could sustain the federal programs through the use of revenue-sharing funds.
A Labor Department official told the House hearing yesterday that the localities could use money from the Emergency Employment Act to sustain summer youth programs that would no longer be supported by OEO.
But the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Augustus Hawkins, D-Calif., said the EEA funds—which the administration also wants to phase out-are still needed to provide jobs for veterans and other adults.
[From the Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., Jan. 28, 1973]
SEN. ERVIN PROBES CONGRESS' CONFLICT WITH EXPANDING ROLE OF THE
The beginning of President Nixon's second term sets the scene for a potentially monumental power struggle between the President and the Congress.
Many members of Congress, chating under what they see as the usurpation of their constitutional prerogatives and authority by the executive branch, seem determined to reassert their decision-making authority.
A central figure in this battle will be Sen. Sam J. Ervin Jr., D-N.C.. one of the Senate's leading constitutional authorities. Ervin is chairman of the Government Operations Committee and the judiciary subcommittees on constitutional rights and the separation of powers, all of which are involved in disputes with the President.
In this interview with Charles Osolin of the Winston-Salem Journal and Bill Connelly of Media General, Ervin discusses the areas of conflict between Congress and the executive branch and what he plans to do about them.
Question. Senator Ervin, you have been concerned for a long time about the crosion of congressional authority and the increasing centralization of power in the executive branch of government. It seems that many of your colleagues in the Senate and the Ilouse now share your concern.
ERVIN. I've been conscious since I first came to the Senate and became a member of the permanent subcommittee on investigations that the executive branch was very reluctant to give Congress the information necessary to enable Congress to determine how the executive was performing its duties—even in cases where such information was necessary for Congress to perform its own duties.
This was accentuated when I began my investigation of the use of the Army to exercise surveillance over civilians. I had to threaten to introduce a resolution to declassify the documents (on Army surveillance) before they would declassify them.
Then, I've been concerned about the government's financial situation. I've been concerned that the presidents, regardless of what political party they belonged to, and the Congress, from the time I came to the Senate, didn't seem to have any sense of financial responsibility whatever. As a result, in 45 or 46 years we've only balanced the budget-narrowly-seven times.
President Nixon came in, and at first he was very extravagant. He took the position that Congress ought not to appropriate anything except what he set out in the presidential budget. So he started to impound the funds that Congress appropriated for things that were not in his budget.
Contrary to popular impression, Congress has appropriated about $20 billion less than President Nixon asked it to appropriate.
Lately, President Nixon has started to impound more funds. He impounded the highway funds, which was all the money we had in cash-it was in a trust fund. Still, (on the President's own programs) we were going ahead like a drunken sailor and spending money we didn't have.
The time has come for the Congress to try to restore its power of the purse. I recognize that this carries a tremendous obligation on Congress to see that it doesn't appropriate more money than it's got. Or, that it has enough courage to levy taxes to cover what it authorizes to be expended. Congress is going to have to set up some better machinery to do that.
Question. Do you plan to introduce legislation again to restrict the President's power to impound funds appropriated by Congress?
ERVIN. Yes. It wouldn't prohibit the impoundment. It would provide that whenever the President impounds any funds he shall notify Congress of his actionand give the reasons he's impounded them. Unless the Congress sustains his action within 60 days, it would be his duty-under our view of the Constitutionto spend those funds.
I have felt that where Congress makes appropriations for specific purposes, that it's the President's duty—if he doesn't approve of the appropriations-to veto the bill. Congress then has the right under the Constitution to override his veto.
The Constitution does not give the President an item veto. (He must either veto the whole appropriation or accept it.) The President is given the veto power to keep Congress from being foolish in legislation, including appropriations. But I have a feeling that if Congress wants to be foolish and override the presidential veto, it's none of the President's business. It's the business of the people to get rid of such congressmen.
Question. You've also entered, as a friend of the court, a law suit which challenges the President's right to impound highway trust funds ...
ERVIN. From my study of the statutes relating to the Highway Trust Fund, I think it's the clearest case where the President does not have the power to impound funds. He impounded those funds ostensibly to prevent inflation. I never did see how he prevented much inflation by impounding funds he already had (in the trust fund) and then going ahead and spending a lot of money he didn't have. It creates artificial dollars by deficit financing.
I think the Missouri court case challenging the impounding of highway funds gives the courts the judicial power to pass on this question.
Question. You mentioned that Congress needs to set up some kind of machinery whereby it can control the level of spending itself ...
ERVIN. Barring a great emergency, which doesn't exist, I think that when a president recommends an appropriation without recommending taxes to cover it, or when Congress appropriates money without sufficient revenue to cover it, I think that's a dishonest act.
I would try to set up a system (in Congress) under which, at the end of every session, the appropriations and finance committees would make an estimate as to how the appropriations up to that date matched or failed to match the anticipated revenues. Congress could then pass a bill, if needed, to