Statement on Signing the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986
I am signing H.R. 5300, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986, which implements instructions of the budget committees to the substantive committees to reduce the fiscal year 1987 deficit and raises the debt ceiling to $2.3 trillion. I am pleased that the Congress, in passing reconciliation, has addressed many of the concerns raised by the administration. In particular, the sale of Conrail is an important step. I would note, however, that the tax provisions relating to Conrail are burdensome and may interfere with obtaining the best price for the railroad.
It is disturbing and disappointing that this reconciliation bill, which is supposed to reduce spending, not only has few outlay reductions but actually incorporates substantial program expansions, mainly in the Medicare area -- increasing outlays on the order of $2 billion in fiscal year 1987 and even more annually thereafter. I sincerely hope that the Congress will endeavor to use reconciliation next year for the purpose generally envisioned: to reduce spending, not to increase revenues.
Note: H.R. 5300, approved October 21, was assigned Public Law No. 99 - 509.