Statement on Signing the Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act of 1988

 

November 18, 1988

 

I am today signing S. 2840, the ``Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act of 1988.''

 

I am approving this measure after having approved H.R. 5280, an Act that provides for the minting and sale of coins commemorating the Bicentennial of the United States Congress. Under section 8(a) of H.R. 5280, some of the proceeds from the sale of these coins are to be deposited in the Capitol Preservation Fund for the use of the United States Capitol Preservation Commission, a body consisting of members of Congress. The balance of these proceeds is to go into the general fund of the Treasury.

 

Under section 5(e) of H.R. 5280, contracts made by the Secretary of the Treasury to promote the sale of these coins are made subject to the approval of the United States Capitol Preservation Commission. Considered in isolation, section 5(e) would appear to violate the basic constitutional principle that the Congress can affect the legal rights, duties, and relations outside the Legislative branch only by the constitutionally specified procedures for legislation: passage by both Houses and presentation to the President (INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919, 951 - 967 (1983)).

 

Because I have approved S. 2840 after H.R. 5280, section 803(a) of S. 2840 will have the effect of partially repealing section 8(a) of H.R. 5280 by providing that all of the proceeds from the sale of bicentennial of Congress coins be deposited in the Capitol Preservation Fund, which the Capitol Preservation Commission would use in preserving the Capitol building. The Secretary of the Treasury's contract-letting authority under section 5(e) of H.R. 5280 will thus serve as a mere adjunct to the purely congressional ``housekeeping'' function of maintaining and improving the Capitol. Under these circumstances, Commission approval of the Treasury Secretary's contracts will not serve to alter the rights, duties, and relations outside the Legislative branch, since the Secretary's contracting activities will further a purely legislative function.

 

Accordingly, I approve S. 2840 with the knowledge that its enactment will cure H.R. 5280 of its constitutional deficiency.

 

Ronald Reagan

 

The White House,

 

November 18, 1988.

 

Note: S. 2840, approved November 18, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 696.