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Public Papers - 1989 - November

Statement on Signing the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1990


Today I signed into law H.R. 2916, the ``Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1990.''

As we are about to celebrate Veterans Day, let me say that I am especially pleased that this Act provides resources for our Nation's veterans. Those men and women who have served in the military can expect to receive the benefits they deserve. The Act provides .4 billion for VA Medical Care, an increase of putmaincontenthere.5 billion over the 1989 enacted level. These funds will allow for continued medical services to our veterans in need of VA care. In addition, million provided in Title IV of the Transportation Appropriations bill will help treat those veterans with substance abuse problems.

I am also pleased that the Act includes funding that will help maintain America's leadership in space. This commitment to space is important to our national security, our economic growth, and our quality of life. In particular, the funding provided for the Space Station Freedom, a keystone of the Nation's space policy, will enable us to continue a stable and sustainable program. This level of funding will allow for the development of the Space Station Freedom on a schedule leading to permanently manned capability in the mid-1990's.

I am also pleased that the Act substantially increased funding for the HUD and VA McKinney Act programs to help reduce the tragedy of homelessness. However, I am disappointed that the Congress did not fully fund McKinney and did not fund our new million comprehensive shelter and services initiative or our million proposal for a new low-income homeownership program.

I am concerned about some legislative provisions of the Act. In particular, I am concerned about the 23-percent increase the Act provided in the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan limit on single-family loans, without the reforms necessary to ensure the actuarial soundness of this FHA program. As a first step, I encourage the Congress to move quickly to adopt the specific FHA reforms that the Administration has just submitted to the Congress.

George Bush

The White House,

November 9, 1989.

Note: H.R. 2916, approved November 9, was assigned Public Law No. 101 - 144.

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