Ban on Spending Deferrals to Be Appealed

Associated Press

The Justice Department said Friday that it will appeal a court ruling that found it unconstitutional for the President to defer the spending of appropriated funds in a case involving $5 billion in federal housing money.

U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Jackson on May 16 stripped President Reagan of his authority to defer approved spending from one fiscal year to the next, a tool he has used to fight the budget deficit.

Jackson said presidential use of the device has been tantamount to a “line-item veto.”


Mark Sheehan, a Justice Department spokesman, said the department plans to take the case to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals next week.

The department will seek an expedited hearing in an attempt to have arguments in the case heard in July, Sheehan said.

The Public Citizen Litigation Group filed suit on behalf of the National League of Cities, four Democratic members of the House and city officials.

About $5 billion in housing funds is involved in the suit, but $22.8 billion involving 41 programs is being deferred by the Reagan Administration and could be affected if the judge’s ruling is upheld.