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comment upon historical examples of Executive impoundment, as well as those of the present Administration. Sincerely yours,
SAM J. ERVIN, Jr., Chairman, Subcommittee on Separation of Powers.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, January 31, 1973. Hon. Sau J. ERVIN, Jr., U.S. Senator, IT'ashington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR ERVIN: This is in response to your letter of January 24, 1973, addressed to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. You requested information on the history of impoundments by the Executive Branch.
As submitted to your subcommittee two years ago, and appearing on page 102 of the record of the hearings then held, Presidential impounding can be traced back to 1803 when President Jefferson is known to have impounded funds. We also provided the subcommittee with other information and references at that time which indicated that the practice of impounding funds is not a new one. That is the information, pp. 103-133 of the hearing record, together with other material developed at the hearings, on which Mr. Weinberger based his statement to the Committee. Professor Joseph Cooper's statement for example, pp. 181-189, traces the history of impoundment from 1921 ; quite evidently the practice preceded that time.
Because it is such a common and indispensable element of executive management, it seems likely that most if not all Presidents have impounded funds for any number of reasons. The Office of Management and Budget, however, does not keep records of each specific impoundment from the beginning of the Republic. Indeed, the largest and most complete compilation of material we are aware of on the subject is the record of your subcommittee's hearings in 1971. Our current list will be transmitted to the Congress prior to February 10, as provided by the Congress in H.J. Res. 1.
Inasmuch as I will be giving the testimony before your Committee, I will be happy to discuss these points with you further when I appear before you later this week. Sincerely,
Roy L. Ash, Director-Designate, Office of Management and Budget.
OHIO CONFERENCE OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, Inc.,
Columbus, Ohio, February 7, 1973. Hon. SAM J. ERVIN, Jr., U.S. Senate, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. ERVIN: As I am sure you are aware, one of the most serious and pressing problems confronting Ohio cities is the severe deterioration and blight affecting older neighborhoods. For over 20 years our prime tool for eliminating and preventing blight and physical and economic obsolescence has been the urban renewal program. At present thirty-three Ohio cities are engaged in community development activities to plan and carry-out the redevelopment and preservation of their older neighborhoods. Each of these cities holds membership in the Ohio Conference of Community Development, Inc. (formerly the Urban Renewal Association of Ohio, Inc.), which is a professional association founded in 1965 to serve local public agencies engaged in community development in the State of Ohio,
On January 25 the Ohio Conference of Community Development, Inc., met to discuss the implications of the President's impoundment of rehabilitation loan funds and moratoriums on subsidized housing and community development. It was agreed by all cities in attendance that the President's actions would severely affect the housing welfare of thousands of Ohio citizens, the successful rehabilitation and redevelopment of many Ohio cities, and the successful execution of numerous community development projects. In this respect, community development and subsidized housing programs do not cater to special-interest groups, as the President suggests, but serve inter-city residents who for various reasons are relegated to living in deteriorating neighborhoods of physical and economic obsolescense. In effect, the President's actions will cause a serious reduction in the effort presently being made in Ohio cities to revitalize these neighborhoods. We must not allow this to happen.
It is wise to re-evaluate and seek out better ways to provide for housing and community development, but such efforts to improve methods of solving our urban problems should not disrupt the continuity of existing programs.
The accompanying resolution was passed unanimously by OCCD membership and serves as a formal expression of our concern over the President's actions. In this regard, the Ohio Conference of Community Development, Inc., is hopeful that you will do all in your power to see that Ohio cities will not be abandoned in their efforts to improve their older neighborhoods and provide decent housing for all citizens. Very truly yours,
GLORIA M. SNIDER,
RESOLUTION Whereas, the President of the United States has impounded $70 million in Section 312 rehabilitation loans which are vital to: (1) the housing welfare of thousands of citizens, (2) the successful rehabilitation of many urban areas, and (3) the successful execution of numerous urban renewal programs; and
Whereas, the President of the United States has declared a moratorium on the construction of any new subsidized housing of any type; and
Whereas, subsidized housing is essential to provide decent standard housing for millions of Americans within their income limits; and
Whereas, the President of the United States has indicated his intentions of placing a moratorium on all new community development funds, i.e., Urban Renewal, Neighborhood Development Program, etc. as of July 1, 1973; and
Whereas, the successful continuation of community development type programs is essential for the continued revitalization of innumerable cities, towns and villages across the nation; and
Whereas, the above mentioned programs have demonstrated their ability to function and return to the nation both decent housing and millions of dollars in private development; and
Whereas, this nation has a duty and obligation to provide decent housing for all of its citizens; and
Whereas, the undersigned has been instructed and duly authorized to execute and distribute the Resolution as set forth below on behalf of the Ohio Conference of Community Development, Inc.; now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the membership of the Ohio Conference of Community Development:
(1) That the President of the United States is hereby requested to: (a) release all impounded funds for Section 312 rehabilitation loans, (b) remove the moratorium on the construction of new subsidized housing, and (c) place no moratorium on community development funds.
(2) That the President of the United States is requested to indicate a continued commitment to the necessity of solving the housing and urban blight problems of this nation and a continuing commitment on the part of the federal government to both participate in, and give high priority to, this commitment.
(3) That the President is requested to undertake such studies and actions as may be necessary to improve, reform or update these programs without disrupting their continuity, or reducing their effectiveness or priority standing.
(4) That the Congress of the United States is requested, in the absence of the above steps by the President, to use any and all means necessary to insure that the above mentioned steps are, in fact, taken.
GLORIA M. SNIDER, President, Ohio Conference of Community Development, Inc. JANUARY 25, 1973.
OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION,
Columbus, Ohio, January 23, 1973. Mr. HENDRIK E. STAFSETI, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway Oficials, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. STAFSETH : In reply to your communication of January 16. 1973 the Ohio Department of Transportation would like to go on record in full support of Senator Sam J. Ervin's bill constraining the impounding of funds by the President. Although Ohio has not yet entered into the litigation initiated by Missouri to free the Highway Trust Fund moneys now impounded, we are seriously considering such action and are in complete agreement with their position.
It has been difficult enough in the past to plan and program highway projects based on two year appropriations by Congress, but it becomes virtually inpossible to develop any kind of a long-range program when even those two years appropriations are subject to impoundment in unknown amounts for unknown periods of time. Ohio presently has approximately 95 million dollars of deferred apportionment (impounded) and we have no idea when this may become available.
One additional point that Congress and the President should be made aware of in this regard is that the states must prepare budgets for submission to their respective state legislatures and include anticipated federal aid funds therein for appropriation by the legislature before they can be expended. When antieipated federal funds are appropriated by the legislature, and then are not received by virtue of executive impoundment or otherwise, the state appropriation of such amounts lapses. When this happens the legislature as well as the general public feel that they have been deceived, and rightfully so.
The practice of impounding funds appropriated for any purpose is repugnant to a democratic society, but impoundment of trust funds, such as the Highway Trust Fund, established for a specific special purpose is unconscionable and a breach of faith with the millions of taxpayers contributing to such funds. Very truly yours,
J. PHILLIP RICHEY. Director, Department of Transportation.
STATE OF OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS,
Oklahoma City, Okla., February 2, 1973. Mr. RUFUS L. EDMISTEN, Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Separation of Pouers,
Dirksen Building, Washington, D.C. DEAR MR. EDMISTEN : We have received a letter from Mr. Henrik E. Stafseth, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway Officials, advising us of the Subcommittee hearings on Senator Ervin's Bill concerning Executive Impoundment of Appropriated Funds. While we will not be able to be present to give oral testimony expressing our feelings in this matter, we do wish to take this opportunity to submit a brief statement containing the views of the Oklahoma State Highway Commission and the Oklahoma Department of Highways, in support of the intent of Senator Ervin's proposal.
The essence of any program having as its objective the orderly improvement of the State Highway System is the availability, in a timely manner and in a predictable magnitude, of the funds necessary to finance such program. Recognizing this basic fact, the Oklahoma Highway Department, since 1962, has operated on the basis of a continuing highway construction program being based on the advanced programing of individual highway projects five years in advance. The projects selected to be scheduled for construction during each of the five years were identified on the basis of relative needs as indicated by our continuing highway Needs Studies. The magnitude of each year's program was based on our projections of available state and federal revenues.
Using data available from historic records of the annual growth in state revenues, we were able to project, with a fair degree of certainty what these rere. nues would be during the next five year period. l'sing past federal-aid apportionments and the anticipated rate of growth to be expected in the Highway Trust Fund, we also made projections which we considered logical, of future federal revenues.
Utilizing these financial base data, we then developed the programing capability for each of the five future years. Projects were then developed for approval by the State Highway Commission on a quarterly basis, which forecast our scheduled highway lettings during the period. The State Highway Commission formally approved the five-year program, with the approved program being furnished members of the Legislature and distributed locally throughout the State.
Under our advanced construction programing process, as the current year is completed, an additional year is added—thus maintaining a continuing five-year construction program.
Since 1968, the holdback in federal funds has frustrated our attempt to maintain the integrity of this program, and its credibility with the Highway Commission, members of the State Legislature and highway groups throughout the State. Due to the succeeding cutbacks, we were not able to maintain the five year program at the magnitude anticipated. In effect, the direct result of the annual withholding of a portion of Oklahoma's apportionment of federal-aid highway funds has been to extend what was a five year program to a seven to nine year program period. Not only have we been denied the use of the money in a timely fashion, the highway users of Oklahoma have been denied the benefits they could have enjoyed by having an improved highway system. These benefits can be measured not only in inconvenience, but in the very real terms of economic loss and the cost of accidents.
In order to illustrate our point, we are including the following tabulation, cov. ering the period 1964 through 1973, showing the federal funds withheld each year beginning in the fiscal year 1968 apportionment.
While it is true that some of the withheld funds have been released to the states under various supplemental releases, special purpose apportionments, redistribution of funds, and other so-called windfall releases; the total effect on the program can be considered to be as indicated by the cumulative holdback figure. The fact that these funds were not available when anticipated is the basic issue.
Summarizing our position, we strongly feel that unless some mechanism exists whereby the states can be assured that the funds accruing in the Federal-aid Highway Trust Fund will be made available to them in a timely and appropriate manner, as we read the intent of Congress in establishing the Trust Fund, it will be impossible for these states to make plans for the orderly development of their highway system, or to maintain any degree of creditibility with the citizens of these states. This is particularly true now that the current policies, procedures, and regulations promulgated by the Department of Transportation, under the guise of environmental protection and other items, make it impossible to develop a highway project within a reasonable length of time.
We firmly and fully agree with the intent of Congress in that we must take all practical steps available to us to minimize and eliminate, where possible, such things as pollution, adverse social and economic impacts, and other related features. We do question the practicality of the Department of Transportation's approach to some of these items.
If we can provide any additional information concerning Senator Ervin's bill, or any other facet of the Federal-aid Highway Program, please feel free to contact us. We hereby request this statement be entered into the records of the Committee's hearings on this matter. Sincerely,
C. D. PAYNE, Chairman.
FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY PROGRAM, ESTIMATED UNRELEASED APPORTIONMENTS
In millions of dollars!
For more than a half century the Executive branch has, on various occasions, seen fit to withhold appropriated funds for various reasons. This practice, while questionable from the congressional viewpoint, was not a serious problem until the post-World II period. In the past five years impoundment has accelerated and become a matter of increasing concern to the Congress.
The legal justification for withholding funds lies in the Anti-Deficiency Acts of 1905 and 1906 which were, as the name implies, intended to avoid deficiencies in Federal spending and not to provide the Executive with a budgetary offset.