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Public Papers - 1990

Statement on Signing the Bill on Wetland and Coastal Inland Waters Protection and Restoration Programs

1990-11-29

Today I am signing H.R. 5390, ``An Act to prevent and control infestation of the coastal inland waters of the United States by the zebra mussel and other nonindigenous aquatic nuisance species, to reauthorize the National Sea Grant College Program, and for other purposes.'' This Act is designed to minimize, monitor, and control nonindigenous species that become established in the United States, particularly the zebra mussel; establish wetlands protection and restoration programs in Louisiana and nationally; and promote fish and wildlife conservation in the Great Lakes.

Title III of this Act designates a State official not subject to executive control as a member of the Louisiana Coastal Wetlands Conservation and Restoration Task Force. This official would be the only member of the Task Force whose appointment would not conform to the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.

The Task Force will set priorities for wetlands restoration and formulate Federal conservation and restoration plans. Certain of its duties, which ultimately determine funding levels for particular restoration projects, are an exercise of significant authority that must be undertaken by an officer of the United States, appointed in accordance with the Appointments Clause, Article II, sec. 2, cl. 2, of the Constitution.

In order to constitutionally enforce this program, I instruct the Task Force to promulgate its priorities list under section 303(a)(2) ``by a majority vote of those Task Force members who are present and voting,'' and to consider the State official to be a nonvoting member of the Task Force for this purpose. Moreover, the Secretary of the Army should construe ``lead Task Force member'' to include only those members appointed in conformity with the Appointments Clause.

George Bush

The White House,

November 29, 1990.

Note: H.R. 5390, approved November 29, was assigned Public Law No. 101 - 646.

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