with particular significance and supportive of its authority because "when the [Control Board] acted to deal with an out-of-control budgetary situation at UDC, it was acting within the central core of the responsibilities confided to it by Congress." (Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss at 16). Consequently, the Control Board asserts that this court should follow the approach it ascribes to Shook I and view the Congressional findings and statement of purposes and the Control Board's findings in support of its order as "key elements in determining the [Control Board's] actions under its governing statutes." Id.
In addition to the authority found in the text of the FRMAA as originally enacted, the Control Board claims that Congress' 1996 amendment to the FRMAA adding § 207(d) also must be read to uphold its January 22 Order.
The Control Board points out that § 207(d) essentially means that it is authorized to stand in the shoes of the highest District of Columbia government officials, including agency heads, whenever it is necessary to do so to accomplish its mission. In this instance, the Board of Trustees is the relevant agency head and the University is the pertinent District Government agency. The Control Board asserts that because Article X of the collective bargaining agreement grants certain management rights to the University in the event of an emergency, including the right to take whatever actions may be necessary to carry out the mission of the University in emergency situations, the University had an independent right to take the actions it took and, a fortiori, the Control Board did as well.
Finally, while vigorously advancing the position that the FRMAA independently provides authority for its January 22 Order, the Control Board states "when there is added the Congressional mandate of § 141(a) of the 1997 D.C. Appropriations Act, the case for the validity of the [Control Board's] actions is overwhelming." Id. In addition to Congress' mandate that the District government stay under the deficit ceiling, the Control Board emphasizes that it was instructed to "take such steps as are necessary" to ensure that the District did not exceed the deficit ceiling and to employ "every means possible" to reduce the costs of operating the District government and to avoid deficit spending. Pub. L. No.104-194, § 141(a)(2); H. R. Conf. Rep. No.104-740 at 17 (1996).
Resolution of the dispositive issue of this case requires the court to answer the question, "Did the Congress of the United States intend to give the Control Board the authority to empower a District of Columbia agency to be able to abrogate a contract, in this case a collective bargaining agreement, to which the District of Columbia or its agency is a party?" As should be apparent, the answer to the question turns upon a sound interpretation of the Congressional legislation that created the Control Board and specified its powers, the FRMAA. While the Control Board argues that the Appropriations Act also should be read to provide the answer to the question, as will be discussed later, there is simply no support for the proposition that Congress intended to or did speak to the issue of the Control Board's authority in the Appropriations Act.
Because "the meaning of statutory language, plain or not, depends on context," Bailey v. United States, 516 U.S. 137, 116 S. Ct. 501, 506, 133 L. Ed. 2d 472 (1995), the plain meaning of language employed in Congressional legislation does not always provide conclusive proof of Congress intent. Still, it must be remembered that "the primary and general rule of statutory construction is that the intent of the lawmaker is to be found in the language that [he or she] has used." United States v. Goldenberg, 168 U.S. 95, 18 S. Ct. 3, 42 L. Ed. 394 (1897); Halverson v. Slater, 327 U.S. App. D.C. 97, 129 F.3d 180 (D.C. Cir. 1997). Not surprisingly, given the well known concerns about how an unelected entity with considerable power over the District government's operations would affect "Home Rule," Congress has spoken directly and clearly regarding the Control Board's authority.
A. The FRMAA
The Control Board's powers are found in § 103 of the FRMAA, which, significantly, is entitled "ESTABLISHMENT AND ORGANIZATION OF AUTHORITY," and its responsibilities are delineated in Title II, which is entitled "RESPONSIBILITIES OF AUTHORITY," an equally appropriate caption given the subject of the Title. In Title I, § 103, "for the purpose of carrying out [the FRMAA]," the Control Board, inter alia, is empowered to, hold hearings and receive evidence as the Control Board considers appropriate, obtain official data from the federal and District government, accept, use and dispose of gifts, bequests, and devises of services and real and personal property, issue subpoenas, enter into contracts, and to seek judicial enforcement of its authority to carry out its responsibilities under the FRMAA. FRMAA § 103.
In § 203, the FRMAA details the responsibilities of the Control Board, many of which are associated with the financial plan and budget which the Mayor is required to submit to the Control Board, for its review and approval or disapproval, for each fiscal year for which the District Government is in a control period. Section 203(b)(1)(B) makes specific reference to collective bargaining agreements. Section 203 (b)(1) states in full:
(b) EFFECT OF APPROVED FINANCIAL PLAN AND BUDGET ON CONTRACTS AND LEASES.-
(1) MANDATORY PRIOR APPROVAL FOR CERTAIN CONTRACTS AND LEASES.