53 Neb. L. Rev. 1 (1974)
History and Practice of Executive Impoundment of Appropriated Funds; Stanton, Nile

handle is hein.journals/nebklr53 and id is 13 raw text is: By Nile Stanton*

History and Practice of Executive
Impoundment of Appropriated Funds
I. INTRODUCTION
In late 1972, Congress passed the Federal Impoundment and In-
formation Act.' On February 5, 1973, Roy L. Ash, then director-
designate of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), de-
livered the first report2 required by the Act, indicating budget
reserves in effect as of January 29, 1973: approximately $8.7 bil-
lion was, according to the OMB, being withheld from obligation.
But the total did not reflect that about $5 billion which was to be
spent for water pollution control3 was impounded.4 The actual re-
* Executive Director, Indianapolis Lawyers Commission. B.S., M.A.,
Ball State University; J.D., Indiana University.
The views expressed herein are the author's and should not be
construed as those of the Lawyers Commission.
1. Act of Oct. 27, 1972, Pub. L. No. 92-599, § 401, 86 Stat. 1325. In
pertinent part, the Act, 31 U.S.C.A. § 581c-1 (Supp. July 1973), requires
the President to submit reports to the Congress and Comptroller
General detailing certain information concerning funds which are
appropriated and partially or completely impounded. The reports,
which must be published in the Federal Register, are to indicate (1)
the amount of funds impounded; (2) the date on which funds were
ordered to be impounded; (3) the date the funds were impounded;
(4) the department to which the funds would be available except for
such impoundment; (5) the period of time the funds are to be im-
pounded; (6) the reasons for impoundment, and (7) the estimated
fiscal, economic and budgetary effect of impoundment, to the extent
this is ascertainable.
2. 38 Fed. Reg. 3474 (1973).
3. Federal Water Pollution Control Acts Amendments of 1972, 33 U.S.C.A.
§ 1251 et seq. (Supp. 1973). The struggle over the purse-strings to
these funds has been understandably vehement. The chief sponsor of
the 1972 provisions, Senator Edmund Muskie, insisted that Congress
clearly wanted the water pollution control funds spent:
How could we be clearer? We enacted that legislation by a
unanimous vote in the Senate [and] by a unanimous vote in
the House. The legislation went to the House-Senate Con-
ference, came back to both houses [and] was overwhelmingly
approved. The President vetoed it at midnight [on] one of

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