President's Fifth Special Message for FY 1983

Gao ID: OGC-83-7 March 23, 1983

On February 1, 1983, the President's fifth special message for fiscal year 1983 was transmitted to Congress pursuant to the Impoundment Control Act. The special message proposed 19 rescissions of budget authority totaling $1,552 million, 30 deferrals of budget authority totaling $6,795.9 million, and revisions to 9 previously reported deferrals increasing the amount deferred by $3,155.7 million.

GAO reviewed the special message and questioned certain budget authority rescissions and deferrals of budget authority. In a prior report to Congress, GAO stated that the Impoundment Control Act does not supersede the requirements for obligation of mandatory spending programs. GAO identified various rescission proposals which involved mandatory spending, including assistance to school districts having a partial tax base loss due to Federal acquisition of property, where the rescission would reduce payments to currently eligible school districts from 74.5 percent of entitlement to 49 percent of entitlement. In addition GAO found that programs for territorial teacher training assistance, Indian education, veterans' education, and other programs were mandatory spending programs that were proposed for rescission. GAO noted that five deferrals were disapproved by the House of Representatives on March 10, 1983. In addition, GAO noted that a withholding for the Department of the Interior should be classified as a partial year rather than an entire year deferral. GAO identified no additional information that would be useful to Congress in its consideration of the President's proposals and believed that the proposed deferrals were in accordance with existing authority.

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