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Public Papers - 1991 - December

Statement on Signing the Tribal Self-Governance Demonstration Project Act

1991-12-04

Today I am signing into law H.R. 3394, the ``Tribal Self-Governance Demonstration Project Act.'' This bill extends the duration of, and expands the number of tribes participating in, a demonstration project under which tribes plan, consolidate, conduct, and administer certain programs, services, and functions previously provided by the Department of the Interior. This demonstration project has been an important step in Indian self-determination, in improving the government-to-government relationship between tribes and the United States, and in helping Indian tribes develop independence.

I am signing H.R. 3394 notwithstanding those provisions that purport to require cabinet secretaries to report the results of certain studies together with their ``recommendations'' to the Congress. Were these provisions construed to require executive branch officers to submit legislative recommendations to the Congress, they would be constitutionally objectionable. Because Article II, section 3 of the Constitution vests the President with exclusive authority to decide whether and when the executive branch should propose legislation, these provisions must and will be construed not to require any legislative proposals or recommendations.

George Bush

The White House,

December 4, 1991.

Note: H.R. 3394, approved December 4, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 184.

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