Rescission Actions Since 1974: Review and Assessment of the Record [March 14, 2008] [open pdf - 172KB]
"The Impoundment Control Act (ICA) was included as Title X of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, signed into law on June 12, 1974 (88 Stat. 332). Under the ICA, unless Congress takes action to approve a rescission request from the President within the 45-day review period prescribed by the law, the funds must be released. With respect to a presidential rescission message, Congress may approve more or less than the amount requested by the President. In addition, absent a specific request from the President, Congress on its own accord may initiate rescission actions, by cancelling previously appropriated funds in a subsequent law. […] During his first seven years in office, President George W. Bush sent no formal ICA rescission requests to Congress, but some controversy developed over his use of alternative means to propose spending reductions. President Bush, while evidently reluctant to use existing rescission authority contained in the ICA, has called repeatedly for enactment of a measure that would give the President greater authority to reject items of spending. Such a bill passed the House in the 109th Congress and was reported in the Senate. A contentious issue is whether such a measure might give preference to presidential spending priorities over congressional spending priorities, arguably affecting the legislative power of the purse. This report will be updated as necessary."
|Report Number:||CRS Report for Congress, RL33869|
|Author:||McMurtry, Virginia A.|
|Publisher:||Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service|
|Retrieved From:||Via E-mail|