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Impoundment - Changes During The Nixon Administration, Deferrals, Rescissions, Legislative Line Item Veto Act Of 1995

congress president budget funds

An action taken by the president in which he or she proposes not to spend all or part of a sum of money appropriated by Congress.

The current rules and procedures for impoundment were created by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq.), which was passed to reform the congressional budget process and to resolve conflicts between Congress and President RICHARD M. NIXON concerning the power of the EXECUTIVE BRANCH to impound funds appropriated by Congress. Past presidents, beginning with THOMAS JEFFERSON, had impounded funds at various times for various reasons, without instigating any significant conflict between the executive and the legislative branches. At times, such as when the original purpose for the money no longer existed or when money could be saved through more efficient operations, Congress simply acquiesced to the president's wishes. At other times, Congress or the designated recipient of the impounded funds challenged the president's action, and the parties negotiated until a political settlement was reached.

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