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Public Papers - 1990 - October

Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval a Resolution Providing Funding for Continued Government Operation


To the House of Representatives:

I am returning herewith without my approval H.J. Res. 660 -- a resolution making continuing appropriations -- which would extend funding for the Federal Government through October 12, 1990. In providing for such funding, H.J. Res. 660 would also suspend the sequester that is required by the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law. The sequester would be suspended even though the Congress has failed repeatedly to act in any meaningful way to reduce the Federal deficit. Under these circumstances, I simply cannot approve H.J. Res. 660.

When the Budget Summit Agreement was announced by the Bipartisan Leadership on September 30th, I indicated that I would not sign a continuing resolution until a satisfactory budget resolution was passed. The Congress failed to pass such a budget resolution during the past week. I have made the difficult political decisions that are required to achieve a meaningful reduction in the Federal deficit. Responsible congressional action to reduce the deficit can be delayed no longer. It is time for the Congress to act responsibly on a budget resolution -- not time for business as usual.

I urge the Congress to concentrate its energies on passing a satisfactory budget resolution to clear the way for approval of another short-term continuing resolution, and the enactment of meaningful deficit reduction legislation no later than October 19th.

I note that H.J. Res. 660 would also increase the Federal debt limit until October 12th. If it becomes clear that the Congress cannot pass a satisfactory budget resolution by October 9th, I urge that it enact a clean bill extending the debt limit so that the U.S. Government will not default on its obligations on October 11th. The latest date by which action on a debt limit extension is needed to avoid default is October 9th, so that the Treasury can auction securities on October 10th and settle them on October 11th.

George Bush

The White House,

October 6, 1990.

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