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HUMAN RESOURCES DEV. INST. v. DONOVAN

November 7, 1983

HUMAN RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
Raymond J. DONOVAN, Secretary of Labor, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PRATT

 JOHN H. PRATT, District Judge.

 This action was initiated on October 13, 1983, by plaintiff, Human Resources Development Institute, Inc. ("HRDI"), a recipient of funds from the Department of Labor under the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act ("CETA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 801-999, for the purpose of obtaining a temporary restraining order and permanent and preliminary injunctive relief to compel the Secretary of Labor and his subordinate to continue to fund HRDI under a new statute, the Job Training Partnership Act ("JTPA"), Pub.L. No. 97-300, 96 Stat. 1322, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1501 et seq., at an annualized rate equal to that received by HRDI under CETA during Fiscal Year 1983. On October 14, the Court granted HRDI's motion for a temporary restraining order, because of the complexity of the issue before the Court, out of concern for the possibility of irreparable injury to HRDI, and in light of the possibility that the full Congress could enact legislation that would specifically appropriate funds for HRDI's use during FY 1984. The parties were then directed to file memoranda on plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction and to conduct discovery on an expedited basis.

 A hearing on the motion for a preliminary injunction was scheduled for and held on October 21, 1983. Based upon the submissions of the parties and the arguments of counsel at this hearing, which provided the Court with a fuller background and understanding of this matter than it had when it granted a temporary restraining order, the Court denied plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction from the bench. Pursuant to Rule 52(b), Fed.R.Civ.P., these Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law are now being issued to codify and to explain fully the basis for the Court's ruling.

 1. The standards for the Court's adjudication of plaintiff's pending motion are contained in precedent such as Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission v. Holiday Tours, Inc., 182 U.S. App. D.C. 220, 559 F.2d 841, 843 (D.C.Cir.1977), and Virginia Petroleum Jobbers Ass'n v. Federal Power Commission, 104 U.S. App. D.C. 106, 259 F.2d 921, 925 (1958). These decisions require the Court to determine whether plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits, whether it would be irreparably injured without the issuance of an injunction, whether a stay would harm third parties, and whether a preliminary injunction would further the public interest. As shown below, when measured against these standards, plaintiff's motion should be denied.

 A. The Merits

 1. The authority of the Secretary of Labor to determine how to apportion funds in DOL's budgetary process is derived from Article II of the Constitution and is a plenary executive power. Insofar as is relevant here, the exercise of this discretion may be limited by Congress only by the promulgation of legislation which has the force and effect of law and which defines or redefines the delegation of authority to the Secretary. See, e.g., Amalgamated Meat Cutters v. Connally, 337 F. Supp. 737 (D.D.C.1971) (three judge court).

 3. Legislation affecting the operation of the federal government must be presented to and approved by a majority of both Houses of Congress and, if necessary, enacted over a Presidential veto before it has the force and effect of law. U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 7. American Federation of Government Employees v. Pierce, 225 U.S. App. D.C. 61, 697 F.2d 303 (D.C.Cir.1982); Consumer Energy Council of America v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 218 U.S. App. D.C. 34, 673 F.2d 425, 464 (D.C.Cir.1982) (en banc). *fn1" Short of adhering to the Constitutionally prescribed method of exercising its Article I legislative authority, Congress is without power to appropriate federal funds or to dictate to the Executive Branch the manner in which particular statutory programs are to be effected or funded. Id.

 4. For the past several fiscal years, statutes governing appropriations to federal agencies have taken the form of continuing resolutions that appropriate funds on an annualized rate for a fixed period of time of one fiscal year or less in length. See, Pub.L. No. 97-377, 96 Stat. 1830; Pub.L. No. 97-276, 96 Stat. 1186; Pub.L. No. 97-161, 96 Stat. 22; Pub.L. No. 97-92, 95 Stat. 1183; Pub.L. No. 97-85, 95 Stat. 1098; Pub.L. No. 97-51, 95 Stat. 958. For the first portion of Fiscal Year 1984, the government's appropriations were again codified in a Continuing Resolution, H.J. Res. 368, 98th Cong. 1st Sess. (Sept. 30, 1983). Insofar as an appropriation for the Department of Labor was concerned, this Continuing Resolution provided as follows:

 
Such amounts as may be necessary for projects or activities, not otherwise specifically provided for in this joint resolution, at a rate for operations and to the extent and in the manner provided for in the following appropriations Acts as passed by the Senate as of October 2, 1983.
 
Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1984, under the terms and conditions provided for in such Act for fiscal year 1983.

 H.J.Res. 368, Sec. 101(b)(1).

 5. The first Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 1983 incorporated by reference into H.J.Res. 368 (Pub.L. No. 97-276) does not specifically refer to JTPA programs or to HRDI by name. The second such Continuing Resolution (Pub.L. No. 97-377) is somewhat more specific with respect to the various Administrations within DOL and does mention CETA programs in Section 512. However, it does not address individual activities under CETA or the JTPA, or in any way direct the Secretary of Labor to fund specific activities or organizations in any particular manner.

 6. The only mention made of funding under the JTPA relevant to the Continuing Resolution raised by HRDI appears on pages 2 and 3 of the Conference Report which accompanied H.J.Res. 368, H.R.Rep. No. 98-397, 98th Cong. 1st Sess. (Sept. 30, 1983). This language, purporting to direct the Secretary of Labor to maintain HRDI's funding at the FY 1983 levels, does not appear in the reports of either ...


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