Page images

in this statement are indicated, and sympathetic consideration is recommended to the committee. This will be exhibit G.

Senator WHERRY. That may be made a part of the record. (Exhibit G is as follows:)


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

[Suggested amendments in italics] Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That the joint rule of the Senate and of the House of Representatives contained in section 138 of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

"(c) (1) Commencing with the second session of the Eightieth Congress, all general appropriations for each fiscal year shall be consolidated in one general appropriation bill to be known as the 'Consolidated General Appropriation Act of

(the blank to be filled in with the calendar year in which the fiscal year for which such appropriations are being made ends). The consolidated general appropriation bill may be divided into separate titles, each title corresponding so far as practicable to the respective regular general appropriation bills heretofore enacted. As used in this paragraph the term "general appropriations' shall not include deficiency or supplemental appropriations.

“(2) The consolidated general appropriation bill, and each deficiency or supplemental general appropriation bill, shall show in tabular form by items and totals (A) each item of appropriation, (B) the amount to be expended in the ensuing fiscal year from such appropriation, (C) the amount to be expended in the ensuing fiscal year from all other appropriations made in prior years for the same purpose as the item of appropriation referred to in clause (A) is made, (D) the total amount to be expended in the ensuing fiscal year from such appropriations, and (E) that part of the item of appropriation referred to in clause (A) which will be available for expenditure subsequent to the close of the ensuing fiscal year. Each general appropriation bill shall contain a provision that an expenditure shall be deemed to have been made in a fiscal year with respect to any moneys available for expenditure in such fiscal year, if such moneys are obligated in such year and the expenditure pursuant to such obligation is made within ninety days after the close of such fiscal year.

“(3) Amendments to any general appropriation bill which would have the effect of changing any figures required to be shown by paragraph 2 of this subsection, shall contain a provision changing such figures to conform to the proposed amendment.

"(4) No general appropriation bill and no amendment thereto shall be received or considered in either House unless it conforms with this rule.”

Senator Byrd. It should be pointed out also that technically there would be no means under terms of the resolution to include either in the itemized columns or in the totals such items as those in the permanent appropriation category, or those for which money is made available through a direct transaction chargeable to the public debt, and so on. I believe the sponsors would cooperate with the committee in devising a perfecting amendment in this regard.

In conclusion, favorable consideration of the resolution and the suggested amendments is recommended to the committee for the following reasons:

1. It brings together in one place at one time the expenditure and appropriation program of the Federal Goevrnment, so that all of the items can be considered in their relative importance one to another. This is impossible under the present system wherein appropriation and spending legislation is considered at 12 different times, in 12 separate and almost unrelated bills which are brought in over a period of up

to 6 months.


2. It gives the Congress and the country a chance to see the whole fiscal program of the Federal Government at one time, and it gives the Appropriations Committees a chance to see and study the same thing.

3. It gives the Appropriations Committees and the revenue committees, and the country, a chance to see how the spending program compares with the tax program, and this is in the spirit of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946.

4. It gives a clear indication as to the extent to which the Government is committed to long-range spending projects.

5. Its tabular form features include the opportunity to determine the effect of each amendment.

6. It provides a constant safeguard, even during actual consideration, against exceeding expenditure ceilings.

7. Together, the consolidated bill and the tabular form will give a clear, concise, and current presentation not only of the appropriations being made and the expenditures available, but also they will provide a running account of the approach to the spending ceiling.

8. The resolution also will necessitate a follow-through on expenditure control in the executive branch.

Now, as I have said, Mr. Chairman, Senator Butler and I probably would want to suggest some amendments for consideration in addition to those that I have already mentioned.

Senator WHERRY. Mr. Bartelt, will you state your full name and whom you represent?

Mr. BARTELT. Edward F. Bartelt, Fiscal Assistant Secretary, Treasury Department.

Senator WHERRY. Do you care to make a statement on the proposed resolution?

Mr. BARTELT. No, sir; we do not.
Senator WHERRY. You have submitted a memorandum?
Mr. BARTELT. Yes, sir.
Senator WHERRY. That memorandum outlines some of


views on some of these questions that are confronting or will confront the Congress in the consideration of this resolution?

Mr. BARTELT. Yes, sir. But I would like to add, Mr. Chairman, that the Treasury has already commenced a study to see what can be done to give the Congress the type of information that Senator Byrd has indicated would be desirable in his concurrent resolution.

Senator WHERRY. Mr. Lawton, will you state your name for the record, please?

Mr. LAWTON. F. J. Lawton.
Senator WHERRY. You are with the Bureau of the Budget ?
Mr. LAWTON. Yes; Acting Assistant Director.

Senator WHERRY. Do you care to make a statement on this resolution?

Mr. LAWTON. Nothing further than the statement already submitted for the record.

Senator WHERRY. And you have submitted such a memorandum? Mr. LAWTON. Yes, sir.

Mr. WEITZEL. I am from the Comptroller General's Office. I have authority this morning only to sit here as a listener. Mr. Warren was invited to send somebody up for that purpose. As Senator Byrd indicated, there hasn't been time for us to discuss with him the various


parts of the resolution. Aside from that Mr. Warren feels, however, that although, as Senator Byrd indicates, this is intended to implement section 138 of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946, still the effect of it will be a change in policy on the part of Congress if it is enacted into law, which would place an expenditure limitation on the executive agencies in each fiscal year, in addition to an obligation limitation, and for that reason he feels that he doesn't want to take any stand on the matter, that it is up to the Congress to determine whether they want that policy. It will, of course, have its effect on the work of the General Accounting Office just as it will on that of all the other agencies represented here this morning.

Senator WHERRY. But the point you want to leave with us is that the Comptroller General feels it is a policy matter to the extent of whether these obligations are extended into additional years; is that the idea?

Mr. WEITZEL. That is approximately correct.

Senator WHERRY. Keeping in mind, of course, the ceiling on the over-all budget.

Mr. WEITZEL. The point is that not only would Congress appropriate an obligation, on an obligation basis, but would also appropriate on an expenditure basis, limiting the amount to be expended under those appropriations during a particular fiscal year. Insofar as the effect on expenditures is concerned, that would be a departure from the previous policy.

Mr. BARTELT. Mr. Chairman, I would like to add that we feel that to maintain a dual set of accounts, one on an obligation basis and one on a cash basis, would increase the administrative expenses of the Government and might create some administrative difficulties.

Senator WHERRY. Would it be a material expense?
Mr. BARTELT. I think it would, but no one could estimate the amount.

We feel that the place to exercise your control is when the obligation is incurred.

Senator WHIERRY. That is when the authorization is made?

Mr. BARTELT. When the Congress authorizes the appropriation; yes, sir; and we feel that the payment of the obligation is one more or less of timing, and we feel that obligations properly incurred should be paid as promptly as possible, and that we should avoid a system which would result in unnecessarily carrying over obligations from one year into the next year merely for the purpose of complying with an expenditure limitation.

Senator WHERRY. Well, I am glad you brought that up, Mr. Bartelt, for this reason. Say that one of these subcommittees happens to be the Department of the Interior, or Rivers and Harbors, where they pass an authorization bill which covers expenditures over a period of years, say 3 or 4 or 5 years. The appropriations, of course, are going to be assessed to each one of those years as the work continues; isn't that correct?

Mr. BARTELT. That is correct.

Senator WHERRY. What I want to know is whether there is any added expense, or any mechanical difficulties, over the way you are doing it now, if we put into effect this new policy?

Mr. BARTELT. Well, if it is applied to each individual appropriation, and that is where I raise the question, to require the departments to in effect maintain a separate cash account for each appropriation inevita

bly is going to add to the clerical expense for the simple reason that they must carry one limitation for the cash outgo, and one limitation for the contracts that they enter into or the orders that they place. No businessman would do that, and I don't think that any businessman would think about maintaining a separate cash account for each expense account.

Senator WHERRY. Is that covered in the memorandum that you submitted ?

Mr. BARTELT. Not very forcefully.

Senator WHERRY. Isn't that one of the main things that is to be considered in this legislation?

Mr. BARTELT. I think it is a very important thing. My point is that if this kind of legislation is passed—the objective, I think, is very fine—but if this type of legislation is passed, I think there ought to be some flexibility so that it is not applied to each separate appropriation account. If it is made as a departmental total, which gives the head of a department a little flexibility in the payment of his bills, that would be much less objectionable.

Senator BYRD. Mr. Chairman, we consulted very fully with the Treasury and the Budget on that particular matter, and I asked Mr. Bartelt and Mr. Lawton to submit a suggested amendment, because I am in agreement, to a certain extent at least, that there should be flexibility within a certain department's appropriation. I think that it ought not go beyond that. But they didn't do that, and now Mr. Steve Rice is working on it, but he hasn't been able yet to get the technical information.

Mr. BARTELT. The reason for that is that there are so many technical problems involved in an expenditure control that we simply could not, within the time available, draw up a bill which would do that thing. The term "expenditure,” to begin with, must be defined, because you have, for instance, transfers from appropriations to trust accounts, and you have these operations in the Army and the Navy where they use the Army account of advances and the general account of advances, all of which have certain technical difficulties which must be worked out before we can even write a bill.

Senator WHERRY. So that all of the members may understand such technicalities, for the record would you just give one? What technicality would you have to overcome say in connection with the Army or Navy?

Mr. BARTELT. The Army and the Navy disburse their money under what is called general account of advances, and they frequently use those accounts of advances for the purpose of making trust-fund payments. The trust-fund payments, however, are not a part of the general budget, and we would have to get the Army and the Navy to separate those accounts, before we could give you

Senator WHERRY (interposing). On a cash basis.
Mr. BARTELT. Yes; that is the principal of it.

Senator WHERRY. Would that entail added expense, or is that a matter of policy?

Mr. BARTELT. I don't think that that would materially increase the expense so long as the Army and Navy doesn't have to keep separate cash accounts for each appropriation.


Senator BYRD. That, Mr. Chairman; I think can be worked out.

Senator WHERRY. They can make it flexible so that it runs to one whole department, and that is your idea if you can do it.

Senator BYRD. As far as a definition of "expenditure" is concerned I think that a very simple one is a withdrawal from the Treasury. That is what it means under the Legislative Reorganization Act. That is what we meant when we provided for a ceiling on expenditures.

Mr. BARTELT. Well, some expenditures charged in the budgetand Mr. Lawton could explain this in greater detail-do not involve actual cash withdrawals from the Treasury, and those items would have to be taken care of, it seems to me.

Senator WHERRY. Couldn't that be done in the legislation? What I am trying to ascertain here is whether there is any hurdle, legislatively, that might throw this thing out. Is there an impossibility there, or is it a question of policy or a question of mechanical difficulties entailing a considerable expense in operation ?

Mr. BARTELT. Fixing an expenidture limitation on the departments as a whole, provided term "expenditure" is defined, should not be insuperable, but the fixing of a cash limitation on each appropriation would, in my opinion,

be very expensive. Senator WHERRY. Have you discussed that in this memorandum?

Mr. BARTELT. As I say, it is not discussed there in much detail, but it is there.

Senator WHERRY. I just want to bring out all the facts.

Senator BYRD. That matter I think in large measure at least, Mr. Bartelt, can be worked out without doing any injury to the principle of the bill. I would like to make the suggestion that Mr. Lawton and Mr. Bartelt confer with Mr. Rice

Senator WHERRY (interposing). That is exactly what I was going to suggest, and see if they can work out the necessary amendments to overcome that difficulty.

Senator Byrd. Then also there are certain permanent appropriations such as the appropriation for interest on the public debt, and provisions should be made for the inclusion of that so that when the totals are added up in the appropriation bill it would include all the expenditures for the fiscal year. But that would be a simple matter.

Senator WHERRY. Now this objection No. 6 which you have listed here:

Strict enforcement of annual expenditure control might prove embarrassing to the Government in connection with payments pursuant to commitments made near the end of the year but do not clear for actual payment before the year has expired. Just what is that?

Senator Byrd. This amendment would cover that.
Mr. LAWTON. I can clarify that by a few figures here.

In the average annual appropriations that are passed there is a considerable portion of those appropriations that are for personal expenses. Normally there is a carry-over of one pay period on a cashwithdrawal basis. The checks for the last pay period are paid in July and cashed in July. There is about a 4 percent carry-over. A 60-day period would substantially cover that.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »