Statement on Signing the Fisheries Bill
My approval today of S. 991 is not to be construed as my acquiescence in section 405(b) of the bill, which purports to terminate the terms of office of United States Commissioners on the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, as of the date of enactment of the bill, permitting them to serve for a period not in excess of 60 days, pending new appointments made under the provisions of the bill.
Pursuant to existing law, section 3(a) of the Great Lakes Fishery Act of 1956, 16 U.S.C. 932(a), the incumbent Commissioners serve at the pleasure of the President. The power to remove them prior to the expiration of their terms, therefore, is vested exclusively in the President, with the exception of impeachment or a bona fide abolition of the office. In order to cooperate with the congressional desire to convert the Commissioners terms from ``at the pleasure of the President'' to staggered 6-year terms, I shall remove the incumbent Commissioners prior to making appointments or reappointments under the bill. Such removal will be made solely on the exercise of my constitutional removal authority and not by operation of section 405(b) of the bill.
Note: S. 991, approved November 14, was assigned Public Law No. 99 - 659.