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Public Papers - 1991 - October

Statement on Signing the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1992


Today I have signed into law H.R. 2942, the ``Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1992.''

This Act includes funding to maintain and improve our transportation systems. The Act also contains strong provisions pertaining to testing for drug abuse and alcohol misuse in the transportation sector. These provisions, which had our full support, send a strong signal to those who travel on mass transit and other systems: We are committed to ensuring that America's transportation systems are safe.

In one respect, however, this appropriations measure lacks meaning. The Congress still has not presented me with a surface transportation reauthorization bill. This appropriations Act appears to suggest that States have .8 billion in grant assistance to award new highway construction contracts this fiscal year. In reality, until the reauthorization bill passes, the States have only .8 billion to award from funds left over from last year. New funds are unavailable because the Congress has failed to enact the reauthorization bill in a timely manner.

The Administration proposed a highway bill on February 13 of this year. On March 6, I challenged the Congress to present me with a bill I could sign in 100 days. The delay in enactment of the highway bill disrupts the construction industry, costs jobs, and slows down needed improvements to our transportation systems. We need to put people back to work. I urge the Congress to develop expeditiously a bill I can sign.

George Bush

The White House,

October 28, 1991.

Note: H.R. 2942, approved October 28, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 143.

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