Statement on Signing the
am pleased today to approve H.R. 4712, a bill that authorizes the Secretary of
the Interior to promulgate regulations to increase the stock of fish in the
First, the bill requires that certain restoration work be performed by unemployed persons who are commercial fishermen, Indians, or other persons whose livelihood depends upon commercial resources in the area. If the reference to Indians were an express racial classification, a serious constitutional issue would be raised. I understand from the legislative history of the bill that this reference, however, is not to be viewed as a racial classification, but simply as a reference to one of the groups whose members are most likely to depend on the commercial resources of the area. Accordingly, I sign this bill understanding that the Secretary of the Interior will give preference in employment only to Indians whose livelihood depends on the area's resources.
Second, the bill establishes a council composed of members appointed by State Governors, Federal agencies, and an Indian organization. Because the members of the council are not appointed pursuant to the appointments clause, they cannot undertake executive functions pursuant to Federal law. Therefore, section 3(b)(1)(B) of the bill makes clear that the council has a purely advisory function, which consists of making recommendations based on a plan it establishes to manage the fish populations of the river basin and of holding hearings on these recommendations.
bill also establishes a task force composed of members appointed by State
Governors, county officials, Federal agencies, and an Indian organization. Like
the council, the task force, which consults with the Secretary when he
establishes and implements a program to increase the fish populations of the
river basins to optimum levels, has only advisory functions. The bill requires
the Secretary of the Interior and the director of the
the bill requires the Secretary of the Interior to enter into a memorandum of
agreement with the
Note: H.R. 4712, approved October 27, was assigned Public Law No. 99 - 552.