Public Papers - 1992 - October
Statement on Signing the Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government Appropriations Act, 1993
I have signed into law H.R. 5488, the Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government Appropriations Act, 1993.
This Act provides funding for several Administration priorities, including programs that address the crisis of drugs in our country. These include drug interdiction activities in the United States Customs Service and drug rehabilitation and treatment programs financed through the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
I am pleased that the Congress has provided the funding I requested for my efforts to control unnecessary and burdensome Federal regulations through the regulatory review process headed by the Council on Competitiveness. Reviewing Federal regulations is an essential part of the President's constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Regulatory review ensures that regulations issued by the executive branch protect the health and safety of the American people while taking into consideration the economic interests of American consumers.
In implementing this regulatory review process, the Council on Competitiveness, the Office of Management and Budget, and the agencies take great care to ensure that the public participation provisions, as well as all other elements of the Administrative Procedure Act, are carried out in all respects. My advisers, including the Council members, the Office of Management and Budget, and the agencies, also ensure that agency rule-making decisions are supported by the public record maintained by the relevant agency pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.
I note that the Conference Report suggests certain operating procedures for the Council on Competitiveness. This report language is not legally binding, and the procedures it suggests would inappropriately interfere with my duty to oversee the executive branch. As previously stated, current procedures ensure that the regulatory process includes public participation and that decisions are based on the public record.
It is also essential that the President, the Cabinet, and other advisers be provided frank, candid advice about issues that may be raised in the regulatory process. The procedures proposed in the Conference Report would interfere with my ability to obtain such advice by requiring internal discussions among my Cabinet and my advisers to be reduced to writing and put on the public record. Such restrictions on the President's Cabinet or advisers, if imposed by the Congress, would be unprecedented and unconstitutional. I am, therefore, directing the Council on Competitiveness to continue to implement the regulatory review process in a manner that is consistent with current law and with my constitutional responsibilities.
I also note that, certain provisions in the bill -- those concerning regulatory review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the management of the Postal Service -- could be interpreted to interfere with my authority under the Constitution to supervise the decision-making process within and management of the executive branch. In order to avoid this constitutional difficulty, and without recognizing the Congress's authority to impose these restrictions, I will interpret them to permit such supervision through other means.
A number of provisions in the Act condition the President's authority, and the authority of affected executive branch officials, to use funds otherwise appropriated by this Act on the approval of various congressional committees. These provisions constitute legislative vetoes similar to those declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in INS v. Chadha. Accordingly, I will treat them as having no legal force or effect in this or any other legislation in which they appear.
The White House,
October 6, 1992.
Note: H.R. 5488, approved October 6, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 393.