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undertaking independent resolution without
We do not believe that under any of these tests,
a suit challenging the termination of the two percent
loan program under the RE Act would be barred as involv
ing a political question.
We have found no "textually
demonstrable" commitment to the Department of authority
to terminate this congressionally established loan
Nor is there here, as there was in the San
a need for standards to determine
whether the Department's action has gone so far as
constitute an improper "item veto."
The Department has
gone as far as it can go; it has terminated the program.
A lawsuit challenging this action will require a court
simply to decide whether the Department has authority
to do so.
While the government would undoubtedly at
tempt to defend its action by asserting broad consid
erations of public interest as justification for termi
nation of the program, the issue does not thereby
become "political" in nature.
the RE Act loan program, in the guise of a "conversion"
of REA loans to the newly-enacted programs of the RDA of 1972, is, of course, simply one of a number of recent actions initiated by the President for the expressed purpose of reducing budget expenditures. As such, consideration by NRECA as to the remedies available to it must
take into account the broader political context of the
remedies that might be available. Nor have we attempted
program, the Department's action cannot be justified,
questions of first impression, and while we cannot,
course, predict the outcome of such an action, we be
lieve the NRECA's position would be a strong one.
Arnole & Porter
COLORADO ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES,
Denver, Colo., January 31, 1973. Hon. Don G. BROTZMAN, House Ofice Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR Don : As you know, last October the impounding of federal highway funds forced a layoff of 68 engineering technicians in the Colorado Highway Department. At that time we were led to believe this was necessary adjustment in the overall structure of highway construction and maintenance and that further cuts would be extremely unlikely.
However we now have learned that additional Presidential impounding of money in the Federal Highway User's Tax Trust Fund will require the layoff of an additional 113 highway engineering technicians on February 28 of this year.
While we are sympathetic with efforts to reduce unnecessary spending at the national level, we seriously question the advisability and legality of Presidential impounding of these earmarked funds. In our view it is not a function of government to tax its citizens in order to build unnecessarily high reserves rather than spending the money for which it is intended.
It is our understanding that reserves in the Highway Users Trust Fund are estimated to be at $4.4 billion by the end of fiscal 1973 and to continue up to $5.4 billion during fiscal 1974.
We see no valid reason for our people to be taxed on one hand to build up such reserves while on the other hand others are being laid off because the money is not being spent for its intended purpose.
In a different vein, in Colorado we see excellent employees with experience dating back to 1966 being put off the job when we know those jobs must soon be reinstated-probably with inexperienced help.
Another of our CAPE Directors will be in Washington on February 4 through 6 and if she has not already contacted you, I hope Dorothy MacEwen will be able to discuss this situation and other matters in Washington which has a potential effect on our members in Colorado.
We would appreciate any help you can give to us in securing a release of the Highway Tax funds which will enable us to avert this layoff of many excellent engineering technicians. Sincerely,
CAPE Director. (For the Board of Directors).
COLORADO RURAL LEGAL SERVICES, INC.,
Denver, Colo., February 2, 1973. Re Operation Mainstream. Hon. SAM J. ERVIN, JR., U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR ERVIN: I heard a news item on the radio today that said you intended to subpoena the Secretary of Agriculture and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to testify before a subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee investigating President Nixon's impoundment of appropriated funds.
One subject of this impoundment are funds appropriated to the Department of Labor's Manpower Administration for Operation Mainstream, an employment training program for chronically unemployed men under 88 162 et. seq. of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. $8 2769 et. seq.
I represent approximately forty-three men who are either enrollees in the Operation Mainstream of Trinidad, Colorado, or who would be enrolled in the program but for the presidential freeze. It is my opinion that President Nixon has acted unconstitutionally in impounding these appropriated funds absent express Congressional authorization. I am therefore interested in any staff reports made by your subcommittee, any legal memoranda on the analysis of the subject, and any statements you have made on the floor of the Senate or during the subcommittee hearings.
The Trinidad and Las Animas County situation is especially poignant because it is a high unemployment area of the state. The extensive coal mines which made the area prosperous in the first part of the 20th Century have all been
played out. Of a total 1970 population of 15,744 in Las Animas County, only 4,822 are employed; the median income is $5,131. In view of the rather bleak en ployment prospects in the Trinidad area, the presidential impoundment has produced uncertainty, doubt and despair.
I am also ready to make myself available to you and your subcommittee should you need any assistance, or should you desire any witnesses. Faithfully yours,
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOB,
Denver, Colo., January 4, 1973. SPONSOR INSTRUCTION No. 1-73 Subject: Freeze on new enrollments, reenrollments and staff hiring, equipment
purchases and subcontracts for EOA and MDTA programs. 1. Purpose.—To transmit instructions to impose a freeze on new enrollments. reenrollments and staff hiring for EOA and MDTA programs.
2. Background.--The Manpower Administration, to be consistent with the President's economy program, has found it necessary to examine MA expenditures in all areas to insure that manpower programs are operating in the most economical and effective fashion. During this examination, the following actions are to be taken. 3. Action.
A. A freeze on all new enrollments including reenrollments is to take place.
B. No new staff hires should be made.
FRANK A. POTTER,
COLUMBUS SITE DEVELOPERS, INC.,
Whiteville, N.C., February 5, 1973. SUBCOMMITTEE ON SEPARATION OF POWERS, 0.8. Senate, New Senate Offioe Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR ERVIN: Based on a market analysis conducted by the Depart. ment of Housing and Urban Development, there are at least 2,000 substandard houses in the Whiteville area. Also, according to the Mayor of Whiteville, North Carolina, there are now approximately 555 substandard houses within the city limits. Realizing this need and the scarcity of suitable building lots for housing for the middle and low-income families in Columbus County, Columbus Site Developers, Inc., a non-profit corporation, was organized in an effort to help provide suitable building sites for these families.
To accomplish this, Columbus Site Developers, Inc., secured a loan from Farmers Home Administration on August 10, 1972, in the amount of $297,800.00. The purpose of this loan was to purchase a tract of land adjacent to the city limits of Whiteville and develop same into 141 lots. In the agreement with Farmers Home Administration these lots were proposed to be developed, sold, and houses built on same within two years from the date of the Promissory Note. Contracts have been let and the development is well underway at this time.
All of this has been accomplished by the non-profit corporation with the assumption that these lots could be purchased and houses constructed with Inter. est Credit to those applicants qualifying for same, however, on January 9, 1973, Farmers Home Administration advised the board that Interest Credit was suspended effective January 9, 1973.
With the suspension of Interest Credit and the fact that lots can only be sold to those families who qualify for Farmers Home Administration loans, it is the opinion of the Board of Directors that the Corporation cannot fulfill their obliga. tion with Farmers Home Administration nor provide the deserving citizens with adequate housing.