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Public Papers - 1991

Statement on Signing the Joint Resolution Settling the Railroad Strike


I have today signed H.J. Res. 222, a joint resolution ``To provide for a settlement of the railroad labor-management disputes between certain railroads represented by the National Carriers' Conference Committee of the National Railway Labor Conference and certain of their employees.'' This legislation is necessary to end the current nationwide strike against the major freight railroads. If allowed to continue, the strike would cripple the economy and adversely affect national security.

I note that H.J. Res. 222 contains provisions that raise constitutional issues. One provision purports to require the President to appoint one member of the Special Board provided for in section 2 from among the members of Presidential Emergency Board No. 219. This provision could raise constitutional concerns by circumscribing my appointment power. However, because I intend for other reasons to appoint one of the members of Presidential Emergency Board No. 219 to the Special Board, the constitutionality of that restriction will not be at issue. The legislation also purports to require the President to appoint the other two members of the Special Board from a list of arbitrators compiled by the National Mediation Board. While provisions purporting to require the President to appoint from specified lists could raise constitutional concerns, these concerns are obviated here by my authority to supervise the National Mediation Board in the preparation of the list.

George Bush

The White House,

April 18, 1991.

Note: H.J. Res. 222, approved April 18, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 29.

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