Remarks on Signing the Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 1982 Appropriations

December 15, 1981

The President. Well, we have a signing of a bill here. I'm signing House Joint Resolution 370, the continuing resolution providing appropriations for most of the government until March 31st.

The Congress, with strong leadership from these gentlemen here -- Senators Baker and Hatfield and Congressman Conte and Michel -- is now addressing the problem of excessive spending generated through the appropriations process.

I would prefer -- I know they would -- that the gbe financed by separate appropriation bills subject to Presidential approval or disapproval, as has been the case for most of our history. But the continuing resolution I'm signing today is far better than those of recent years and better than the one I vetoed 3 weeks ago.

This resolution represents a genuine effort at spending restraint and embodies substantial savings for taxpayers. It is $49 billion in appropriations below the original request of the previous administration last January and $8\1/2\ billion below my own much reduced request of last March.

This lower level of appropriations will cut spending both in the immediate fiscal year 1982 and in later years. The bill is somewhat above my September request, but it's a big change from the business-as-usual appropriations of the past.

I hope shortly to receive and be able to sign the individual appropriations bills. These appropriations measures would then supersede the provisions of this continuing resolution. I've already signed one such appropriations bill, the energy and water development bill.

Getting control of government spending, reducing inflationary expectations, and restoring jobs, growth, and prosperity for our people is a slow and difficult process. We don't want and the economy can't stand another rollercoaster recovery. We need a lasting recovery, and that will require a wealth of cooperation, courage, and determination. We took our first big step forward last summer when I signed the Omnibus Reconciliation Act.

This resolution marks another significant step. But let's not stop here. If we continue working together, we can bring the rate of inflation down further, and we can keep it down as the recovery begins.

And now, I do this with -- --

[At this point, the President signed the bill, handing the pens to the three Members of Congress.]

Senator Hatfield. Thank you very much.

The President. I ought to have a middle name or put a middle name in here so I can make it go to the end of the pens.

Senator Baker. Thank you.

Representative Conte. Thank you, Mr. President.

The President. You're more than welcome. And thank all of you for what you've done to bring this about.

Note: The President spoke at 3:37 p.m. to reporters assembled in the Oval Office at the White House.

As enacted, H.J. Res. 370 is Public Law 97 - 92, approved December 15.