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Public Papers - 1989 - October

Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1990


To the House of Representatives:

I am returning herewith without my approval H.R. 2990, the ``Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1990.''

I have informed the Congress on numerous occasions that I would veto legislation if it permitted the use of appropriated funds to pay for abortions other than those in which the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term. Most recently, I reiterated my position and the reasons therefor on October 17, 1989, in a letter to Members of the Senate. The limitation I proposed is identical to the one included in this appropriations bill, by a bipartisan majority, since 1981. This year, regrettably, the Congress has expanded the circumstances in which Federal appropriated funds could be used to pay for abortions.

In addition to unacceptable abortion language, this legislation underfunds the Pell grant program, weakening the Nation's commitment to expanding opportunity for higher education. At the same time, this legislation provides unnecessary advance funding for State Legalization Impact Assistance Grants.

Further, the Congress has failed to provide needed flexibility in the use of HHS discretionary funds to combat HIV/AIDS -- one of America's highest public health priorities.

I am, therefore, compelled to disapprove H.R. 2990.

George Bush

The White House,

October 21, 1989.

George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
1000 George Bush Drive West, College Station, Texas 77845
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