Statement on Fiscal Year 1989 Appropriations Bills

 

October 1, 1988

 

I am signing into law the remaining fiscal year 1989 appropriations bills to fund Federal programs for Defense; Agriculture; Foreign Operations; Legislative branch; the District of Columbia; and Commerce, Justice, and State activities. Congress deserves a pat on the back for completing all 13 separate appropriations bills for a fiscal year. They worked long and hard to meet this year's deadline.

 

I feel compelled to add that these bills are by no means perfect. Congress did not fully fund my budget request for drug enforcement activities. I urge the Senate to return to this issue and to give our law enforcement agencies the support they need. Our campaign for a drug-free America is simply too important for Congress not to act before adjournment. Similarly, the reforms enacted for the Legal Services Corporation are inadequate, and questions exist about whether they are structured so that they can be achieved. I am sorry to say that other provisions are inconsistent with the Constitution, including provisions purporting to allow a single House of Congress or a congressional committee to change the law, provisions that would undermine the separation of powers, and provisions that would compromise my authority in the conduct of foreign affairs and the defense of the Nation. Finally, the nonlethal funding of the Nicaraguan democratic resistance is minimal and does not respond adequately to the need to protect and sustain the resistance.

 

Nevertheless, simply getting timely congressional action is a great achievement. So, in conclusion, let me express again my thanks and that of the Nation to the Members of both Houses for their conscientiousness in making this historic break with the recent past.

 

Note: H.R. 4781, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1989, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 463. H.R. 4784, Rural Development, Agriculture, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1989, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 460. H.R. 4637, Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1989, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 461. H.R. 4587, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 1989, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 458. H.R. 4776, the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1989, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 462. H.R. 4782, the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1989, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 459.