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Public Papers - 1990 - November

Statement on Signing the Treasury, Postal Service and General Government Appropriations Act, 1991

1990-11-05

Today, I have signed into law H.R. 5241, the ``Treasury, Postal Service and General Government Appropriations Act, 1991.'' This Act provides appropriations for a number of critical programs under the Department of the Treasury, the General Services Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, the Executive Office of the President, and several other independent agencies. Funding for these central management agencies is essential to carry out the primary financial and administrative functions of the Federal Government.

I want to take this opportunity to thank the Congress for addressing objections raised by the Administration concerning provisions that purported to forbid the implementation or enforcement of certain nondisclosure agreements required of Government employees with access to classified information. These provisions, which were first enacted in the omnibus continuing resolution for fiscal year 1988 (Public Law No. 100 - 202), raised profound constitutional concerns and resulted in lengthy litigation. Section 617 of H.R. 5241 accommodates the concerns of the executive branch, provided that it is not construed in a manner that interferes with my constitutional authority to protect national security information. In this connection, I note that nothing in section 617 purports to interfere with the authority of executive branch agencies to implement and enforce the prepublication review clause included in many of their nondisclosure forms.

Finally, I note that the provisions of H.R. 5241 authorizing appropriations for the Office of Management and Budget forbid the expenditure of those funds ``for the purpose of reviewing any agricultural marketing orders or any activities or regulations under the provisions of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (7 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).'' These restrictions raise constitutional concerns because they impair my ability as President to supervise the executive branch.

George Bush

The White House,

November 5, 1990.

Note: H.R. 5241, approved November 5, was assigned Public Law No. 101 - 509.

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