Statement on Pending Action by the House of Representatives on a Fiscal Year 1982 Supplemental Appropriations Bill

September 8, 1982

Eleven days ago, I vetoed the supplemental appropriations bill sent to me by the Congress. Although the bill contained funding for certain Federal payrolls, the Caribbean Basin Initiative, and emergency relief for Lebanon, it was nearly $1 billion over budget for other domestic programs.

Earlier this session the Congress agreed to reduce projected deficits substantially over the next 3 years. The bill I vetoed was a supplemental bill to fund part of the Government for only 1 month -- yet that 1 month was nearly $1 billion over budget on certain domestic items. The American people have a right to ask how their Government will honor its commitment to reduce deficits over 3 years if it is unwilling to hold the line for 1 more month.

It is not right that Government workers should be caught in the middle of all this. The Congress should not allow Federal workers to be innocent victims of irresponsible spending.

The Congress must shoulder its responsibility, sustain the veto, and return to me a spending bill within our budget if we are to continue bringing down inflation and lowering interest rates. Only through discipline can we spur economic growth and put our people back to work.

Tomorrow's vote in the House of Representatives on my veto will be another important signal to the American people of whether Washington has the will to discipline Government spending. I urge Members of the House to support this veto and thus support our economic recovery.