Statement on Signing the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Amendments of 1984

October 30, 1984

In signing S. 771, the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Amendments of 1984, I must note my strong objection to section 8 of the bill, which would provide for a Council on Health Care Technology. In its initial stages, as well as finally constituted, the Council would perform significant governmental duties pursuant to a public law. Under the Constitution, the members of such a Council cannot be appointed by a congressional panel or by a body like the National Academy of Sciences, which is not an agency of the United States. (Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 118 - 141 (1976)) Moreover, the Council would intermingle governmental and nongovernmental, executive and legislative elements, in a manner which is inconsistent both with the Constitution and with sound government practices.

I have nevertheless approved S. 771 because section 8 does not constitute an integral element of it. I strongly urge Congress to amend section 8 in such a manner that the Council will be reconstituted either as a governmental agency, the members of which will be appointed in a manner which conforms with Art. II, section 2, cl. 2 of the Constitution, or as a private, nongovernmental organization whose members do not have significant duties pursuant to a public law. Pending the enactment of such remedial legislation, I shall, pursuant to section 684, title 2, United States Code, defer any budget authority that might provide for any grants to the Council.

Note: As enacted, S. 771 is Public Law 98 - 551, approved October 30.