ICA itself indicates Congressional intent not to provide for private rights of action.
The legislative history of the statute is similarly unsupportive of any contention that Congress desired that private suits supplement enforcement actions by the Comptroller General. The only pertinent legislative history furnished by plaintiffs is a statement made by Senator Ervin on the floor of the Senate that the ICA "is not intended to infringe the right of any other party to initiate litigation." 120 Cong.Rec. 20465 (1974). See Fontaine v. Donovan, slip op. at 8 n.3, No. 81-789 (D.D.C. May 21, 1981), aff'd in part and rev'd in part sub nom. West Central Missouri Rural Development Corp. v. Donovan, 212 U.S. App. D.C. 153, 659 F.2d 199 (D.C.Cir.1981) (per curiam). This single remark on the floor of the Senate is of little assistance to plaintiffs. First, Senator Ervin's statement can easily be read as simply reiterating the thrust of section 1400 that the ICA is not intended to either negate or create private rights of action; thus, if a private right is furnished by another statute, the ICA would not "infringe on the right."
Second, even if Senator Ervin's statement is appropriately read as implying that private suits are permissible to enforce the ICA, the courts have frequently admonished that the statements of a single legislator, even the statute's sponsor, are not particularly valuable in assessing legislative intent. See, e.g., Chrysler Corp. v. Brown, 441 U.S. 281, 311, 99 S. Ct. 1705, 1722, 60 L. Ed. 2d 208 (1979). Moreover, Senator Ervin's remark should have even less influence that it ordinarily would in light of the fact that he was an architect of the Senate bill, S. 1541, which reflected an extremely narrow view of allowable Presidential impoundment authority. This view was largely rejected by the Conference Committee in favor of the House bill's considerably broader scope for executive withholding actions. Conf.Rep.No.93-924 (June 12, 1974), U.S.Code Cong. & Admin.News 1974, p. 3462 (hereinafter "Conf. Rep."). Thus, Senator Ervin's statement disclaiming incursions on private rights of action was made in the context of deliberations on a bill virtually eliminating executive withholding actions of any type. In such a context, private suits would appear to be a logical and, perhaps, necessary means to curb executive excesses in the budgetary sphere. Since the Senate bill was rejected, however, in favor of legislation providing for relatively broad Presidential impoundment authority, Senator Ervin's remark has virtually no relevance to the court's investigation of legislative intent to create a private right of action in the ICA as it was ultimately adopted. Such intent is more aptly sought in the statements of sponsors whose views on the scope of executive withholdings were largely vindicated, the architects of the House bill, H.R. 7130. As the foregoing discussion would suggest, these Congressmen expressed a strong desire to limit judicial intervention in budgetary matters to occasions when Congress has first determined that such intervention is required. For example, Representative Bolling, a leading sponsor of the House bill, stated that
The procedure embodied in the bill would vest in the Congress the final determination of its own intentions and its own priorities in cases where actions taken by the Executive place them in doubt and it should be clear that neither a Federal Court nor any other body is as well qualified to determine the intentions and priorities of the Congress as the Congress itself.