Statement on Signing a Joint Resolution Providing Continuing Appropriations for Fiscal Year 1982

October 1, 1981

I have signed today the continuing resolution (House Joint Resolution 325) passed last night by the Congress to provide funds for the first 50 days of the new fiscal year starting today.

While I am signing this resolution, I want to make clear that it is only a stop-gap measure to keep the government running for the next few weeks, until the Congress acts upon regular 1982 appropriations bills.

The pattern of spending that is permitted by this resolution is far different from what the Congress or I would recommend. For example, defense spending will be held well below the levels I have requested. Spending for many other programs could, under this resolution, be far higher than I requested last March.

Furthermore, 1 week ago I outlined the steps needed to keep the Nation on the path to economic recovery. These steps include substantial reductions in 1982 budget requests so as to hold down spending and prevent a large increase in deficits. The new requests are below the levels I proposed last March and well below levels provided in the 1982 appropriations bills acted upon thus far by the House and Senate. My new proposals would reduce budget authority $26 billion below the levels proposed last March.

The Congress has made it clear during consideration of this resolution that the executive branch is expected to keep a tight rein on spending under the resolution so that we do not reduce the ability of Congress to consider fully the lower budgets I have proposed. The legislative history states that the amounts allowed to be obligated under the continuing resolution are to be considered as ceilings and not minimums. I expect all departments and agencies to follow this clear directive.

Note: As enacted, H.J. Res. 325 is Public Law 97 - 51, approved October 1.