Meeting the Uniformed Military Services’ Payroll During a Period of Lapsed Appropriations

Headnotes: 

The Secretary of Defense may meet the August 31, 1982, payroll for the uniformed military services without violating the Antideficiency Act, even though there are insufficient appropriated funds remaining in the payroll account to cover the amounts of social security and federal income tax that will be withheld simultaneously with issuance of the paychecks. This is because the due date for such withheld sums to be paid into the Treasury has been adjusted by the Secretary of the Treasury to September 30, 1982, and there is no legal obligation on the part of any employer to have in hand or to transfer to the Treasury any withheld funds until those payments are actually due.

Funds withheld from an employee’s pay are not considered legally transferred to the employee at the time a paycheck is issued, therefore, the prohibition in Article I, § 9, Clause 7, against drawing money from the Treasury in advance of an appropriation is not implicated by the timely issuance of paychecks in this case.

Updated July 9, 2014