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Mr. PICKLE. The difficulty has been, of course, when we vote on bills from January to the end of the year, and we have no ability to look at a comprehensive budget, each of us will vote for or against bills and we come out over or at least we have pumped into the pipeline more money in the second or third year than we can afford.
Senator Ervin. Congress could take care of that situation by the very simple expedient of passing a bill at the end of the session providing that if the propositions exceed the anticipated revenues, and we can't do it quite yet until we get the bald budget, but that the propositions should be increased proportionately and uniformly. That way the congressional will would substantially prevail, instead of the executive will.
I find myself very much in agreement with you as far as the recommendations the President made in the budget. That is sort of like when he sends down the State of the Union message he tells us what he thinks we ought to do. He makes recommendations to us, and so he is arguing within the scope of his statutory power because we gave him the power to have the budget submitted by an act of 1921 and subsequent amendments.
I construe his budget to be, in effect, a recommendation that certain programs should be curtailed, amounts alloted to others should be decreased, and that is a perfectly legitimate and proper course, and it gives us the chance to either agree with him in our legislation or disagree, and certainly that leaves with us the power to legislate. I think your quotation about the remarks of Benjamin Franklin is very apt. The Constitution certainly gives the power to legislate and the power of the purse to the Congress, and if we are going to have a Republic that the Constitution establishes, that power has to remain with the Congress, and I agree with you that we in the Congress are going to have to take some steps to see that we are also fiscally responsible.
Mr. Pickle. We have to put our own house in order.
Senator Ervin. Unfortunately, it is a field where we ought to have the complete cooperation between the two branches of Government. It is unfortunate we had to wind up with a moral confrontation. I want to commend you on the excellence of your statement.
Mr. PICKLE. I thank you, Senator.
Senator CHILES. Congressman, you pointed out one of the problems that we have had in the past with the appropriations bills. We start voting on them pretty quick after the first of the year and we go through to the end of the year. One of those problems has been, has it not, that we haven't had the staff or the computer capability or any other capability that would really help us keep track as to what we voted on.
Mr. PICKLE. That is correct, Senator. By the way of example. In the House of Representatives I believe we have 26 members who embody the professional staff in the Appropriations Committee. The Office of Management and Budget has 647 members, many of whom are grade 14 to 18. Now, that is a great imbalance. We have in effect abrogated our rights almost or we have turned this budget over to the OMB. The Congress has to put this back in balance and give us a bigger staff either through appropriation or ways or means or a com
bination in order for us to give approval to or agree to a budget hi and to work on these matters through the years.
Senator CHILES. If Congress does not have the staff, as you pointed pelet out, the executive branch has had the staff, and so they have had an
opportunity during the course of the year as these bills were passed alignet to be able to analyze those bills, so the opportunity has been there for
the Chief Executive to veto any of those bills if he so thought they were over; is that not true?
Mr. PICKLE. That is right. Senator Chiles. Do you have any idea, even a ball park figure, what about money we are talking about from the impoundments last
year, what percentage was actually vetoed or what percentage really sou went through and either was signed or allowed to become law by the
Chief Executive and later he impounded funds?
Mr. PICKLE. No; I assume you are talking about the $6 billion figure we went over his budget. He wanted $250 billion and we went over $6 billion. I assume he was in effect intending to impound some $6 billion.
Senator CHILEs. The figures on impoundment were considerably more than that, weren't they?
Mr. PICKLE. I am not sure of the sum. I know in my own district the amount is phenomenal. In the reap program, based on 1972 figures, if they would be comparable, there would be a withholding of some $588,000, withholding of some $3 million for rural electrification programs alone. So the sum is large and it hurts but the confrontation is here upon us and all we can do is find an answer to protect the Congress as devised by the framers of our Constitution.
Senator Ervin. When the President impounds funds appropriated by Congress, while the program is being carried out, it causes great disruption of the processes of State government and great disruption of every other program that is covered by those propositions. Mr. PICKLE. It causes great hardship and really unfair hardship. In my city of Austin, we have a housing program that is sponsored by a church group in a poor section of town. They just operate on a shoestring and the faith of the Lord. I don't know how they get into these things. They have now finished in this instance some 20 homes over in one section of town.
They have pumped their money into it. They have got it ready now to turn over to the government based on the guarantees they have given under the 235 program. Now, he has withheld all funds. Now, unless something is done, that organization and that group is absolutely going bankrupt. Now, the officers know that and admit the tragedy is not only you are going to hurt this one little group, and that is a great tragedy. Compounded on that is the fact that we lose the faith and credit of the United States. Our word ought to be good once we have committed a program and funds are expected based on the promise, even on a contractual basis. It ought to be completed. And for us to withhold the money at this point really is going to kill a lot of programs, but mostly it kills our good faith and I don't think the United States ought to get that kind of record.
Senator Ervin. It puts an end to construction, and in many cases these projects are incomplete with no money left to complete them.
Mr. PICKLE. You are right, Senator.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you again for the privilege of testifying before you.
Senator CHILES. Thank you.
(The following was subsequently supplied for the record by Congressman Pickle:)
GENERAL EXPLANATION OF IMPOUNDMENT'S EFFECTS ON 10TH DISTRICT My figures are taken from the Federal Outlays series for FY 72.
Since FY 73 is not over, and a full inventory of FY 73 outlays is not available, I feel that the FY 72 figures are a "ball-park” estimate for FY 73. This is true especially here since the programs affected generally were funded in FY 73 at the same level as FY 72.
I must emphasize again, however, the figures are not exact, but estimates.
EXPLANATION OF THE CHART ON THE EFFECTS OF REAP IMPOUNDMENT ON THE
I have taken the FY 72 REAP outlays for each county as an estimate of the amount to be lost in FY 73. I do this because the actual amount outlayed for REAP in FY 72 is nearly the same amount of REAP monies impounded in FY 73.
Estimate of effects of impoundment on 10th district of REAP funds (fiscal year
1972 figures) Austin County
$46, 416 Bastrop County
55, 222 Banco County
24, 528 Fayette County.
76, 000 Burleson County
45, 331 Colorado County
51, 184 Hays County
25, 636 Lee County-
57, 430 Travis County.
54, 556 Waller County--
34, 965 Washington County
45, 267 Caldwell County-
EXPLANATION OF CHART ON EFFECT OF IMPOUNDMENT OF REA LOANS IN THE 10TH
The figures listed are FY 72 loans. Since the loan program actual outlay in FY 72 was nearly the same as FY 73, I feel the FY 72 figures are a reasonable estimate of the FY 73 impact.
The loans were not grants, and the REAs can borrow elsewhere. But nongovernment loans will be at higher interest rates, and those higher interest rates will eventually be reflected in the consumer paying more for his electricity.
Estimate of effects of impoundment on 10th district of REA funds (fiscal year
1972 figures) Austin County
$147, 009 Bastrop County
283, 536 Blanco County.
298, 080 Fayette County
112, 770 Burleson County
159, 486 Colorado County
154, 562 Hays County-.
448, 677 Lee County
214, 263 Travis County.
785, 169 Waller County
149, 040 Washington County
389, 862 Caldwell County
3, 368, 794
EXPLANATION OF EPA CHART Because it is estimated by the Texas Water Quality Board that the Presi. dent's impoundment of water pollution control will keep funding for projects in Texas at FY 72 levels instead of doubling the funding for projects, the chart gives FY 72 project figures as the loss of monies for FY 73. In other words, if funding for FY 73 was at the Congressionally-funded level for EPA water pollution projects, the FY 72 figures would be doubled.
Of course, there is no way to estimate the loss in money for new projects without a field examination of these counties to survey their wastewater disposal needs.
Lo88 of EPA Monies Because of Impoundment of Fiscal Year 1973 and Fiscal Year
$13, 300 Hays County
20,000 Lee County-Travis County
208, 000 Waller CountyWashington CountyCaldwell County--
EXPLANATION OF HIGHWAY TRUST FUND POSSIBLE LOSSES IN 10TH DISTRICT DUE
Although Highway construction has not been affected by impoundments in my District, I feel that, if the President continues to impound one-third of the highway monies, as he has the past two FY's, then highway projects in my District would eventually have to be reduced by one-third.
Since highway funding for FY 72 is near the level for proposed FY 74 spending, I have taken one-third of the FY 72 outlays and stated that sum could be the possible reductions if impoundment continues. Highways Funds Outlays in 10th District Possible Reductions if Approximately
One-third Impoundments Continue Austin County
$249,000 Bastrop County. Blanco CountyFayette County
105, 000 Burleson County. Colorado County
4, 500 Hays County-
2,000 Lee CountyTravis County
5,500,000 Waller County
2,000 Washington County
500 Caldwell County-
EXPLANATION OF CHART ON LOSS OF HUD OPEN SPACE LAND PROGRAM MONIES
IN 10TH DISTRICT
The President has impounded one-half of the funds for the HUD Open Space Land Program. By taking FY 72 figures for this program in my District, I estimate that spending was reduced by 12 the FY 72 amounts for FY 73.
Possible Reduction in HUD Open Space Land Program Monies in 10th District
If One-Half Fund Impoundment Continues
$190, 000 Lee County Travis County
260, 000 Waller County-Washington CountyCaldwell County-
540, 000 Senator CHILEs. Our next witness will be Congressman Sarbanes. STATEMENT OF HON. PAUL S. SARBANES, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE THIRD DISTRICT OF THE STATE OF MARYLAND
Mr. SARBANES. Mr. Chairman, distinguished members of the subcommittee, I am grateful for this opportunity to testify before you this afternoon on the problem of executive impoundment of appropriated funds. I frankly feel that no problem before the Congress is more important, for this practice raises fundamental questions as to the structure of Government and the allocation of powers under our constitutional system. It is a special honor to appear before this subcommittee, whose distinguished chairman, Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, has rendered unique service in clearly defining the nature of the issue and vigorously stressing its fundamental importance. Senator Ervin has brought to the impoundment issue the same dedicated scholarship, devotion to constitutional principle, and careful analysis that have marked his efforts to defend the individual's right to privacy, to establish the limits of executive privilege, and other efforts to check the arrogant exercise
of executive power. I think I speak for most of the Members of the House in thanking you for your leadership in this area and many areas.
Senator Ervin. I want to thank you for those very complimentary remarks.
Mr. SARBANES I also would like to add a few words about the distinguished ranking minority member of this subcommittee, Senator Charles Mathias of Maryland. As a member of the Maryland congressional delegation, it has been my privilege to work with the senior Senator from Maryland on many issues of national and State interest, frequently toward a mutually shared goal, and I believe he would agree with me that certain issues—and the question of impoundment which is before us today is certainly one of them—are too important to be treated as partisan political issues.
In fact, I should like to stress at the outset that this issue is not a party matter. Impoundment has been practiced by Presidents from each of our two great political parties. It has been opposed by Members of Congress—as is the case presently-on a bipartisan basis. What is at issue is not party differences, but the far more fundamental ques