Statement on Signing the Union Station Redevelopment Act of 1981

December 29, 1981

I am pleased to sign into law today S. 1192, the Union Station Redevelopment Act of 1981. I know that the leadership in the House and Senate and Secretary Lewis at the Department of Transportation have worked hard to develop this legislation. This legislation will help to turn the Union Station complex into a successful commercial center with access to several modes of transportation. It is especially noteworthy that the Senate and House committees were able to develop compromises so that the House could pass the Senate bill without further amendment. I am aware that previous attempts in recent years to enact such legislation were not successful.

The legislation provides that the Department of Transportation will be responsible to rehabilitate and develop the Union Station complex as a commercial center and multi-use transportation terminal. Secretary Lewis has expressed his enthusiasm for the challenge this bill presents to the Department to encourage private commercial development of the complex and make it a successful venture.

While I am signing S. 1192, it contains a legislative veto provision which the Attorney General advises is unconstitutional. Section 114(e) of the bill would purport to authorize either of two committees of Congress to pass a resolution disapproving the expenditure of any sums in excess of $29 million from certain rail programs for the rehabilitation of Union Station. However, committees of Congress cannot bind the executive branch in the execution of the law by passing a resolution that is not adopted by both Houses of Congress and presented to the President for approval or veto. Accordingly, this language of section 114(e) must be objected to on constitutional grounds. The Secretary of Transportation will not, consistent with this objection, regard himself as legally bound by any such resolution.

Note: As enacted, S. 1192 is Public Law 97 - 125, approved December 29.