February 12, 1987 Today I have approved H.J. Res. 102, a joint resolution containing four unrelated provisions. This legislation provides $50 million in additional funds for the emergency food and shelter program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through a consortium of private charitable and religious organizations to assist the homeless by transferring funds from the disaster relief program; authorizes the Veterans Administration to contract for treatment and rehabilitation services in community-based treatment facilities for veterans suffering from chronic mental illness; disapproves a proposed deferral of funds for intrastate storage and distribution costs of surplus food donated to the States for the needy; and in section 3 purports to disapprove the pay raises I recommended for the Vice President, Members of Congress and the judiciary, and certain executive branch officials.
The Attorney General has advised me that the purported disapproval of my pay recommendations is without any legal force and effect because the House of Representatives did not vote on the resolution until after expiration of the statutorily prescribed 30-day period for passage of a joint resolution of disapproval. The Federal Salary Act, pursuant to which I made these recommendations gives the Congress 30 days in which to pass a joint resolution disapproving the recommended increase. That act, of course, does not prevent the Congress from taking legislative action that either amends the act or sets the statutory rates of pay for covered individuals. Subject to the constitutional limitations in article III, section 1, precluding a decrease in compensation for members of the judiciary, I recognize that the Congress has the legal authority to repeal the pay raise. In this case, however, the Congress chose to use the 30-day joint resolution of disapproval mechanism provided in the act, and its actions must be interpreted accordingly.
Note: H.J. Res. 102, approved February 12, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 6.