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Public Papers - 1992 - October

Statement on Signing the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993

1992-10-06

I have signed into law H.R. 5678, the ``Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993.''

During the past few years, I have continually sought increased resources for Federal law enforcement. While we have achieved substantial progress in this area, the Congress has been unwilling to support fully my efforts to combat violent crime and drugs, placing public safety at greater risk. Once again, I am disappointed that this Act cuts more than 0 million from my request to support the fight against crime and drugs. Obviously, this will hamper the Justice Department's efforts to combat violent crime. Additional funding could have been provided to fight crime if the Congress had agreed to terminate or reduce other unwarranted programs as proposed in my FY 1993 budget request.

The results of the congressionally imposed cuts will be manyfold. First, the Federal Bureau of Investigation will not be able to hire additional agents. Second, the Drug Enforcement Administration will be unable to complete major planned drug investigations. Third, my plan for the systematic expansion of prison operations will be curtailed. Fourth, the Immigration and Naturalization Service will be forced to operate at a level below FY 1992, meaning less enforcement on our Nation's borders. Finally, Federal prosecutors will be unable to handle their mounting case loads, thereby delaying putting criminals behind bars.

In addition, I note that section 611(b)(1) of the Act incorporates by reference a provision that grants certain authority only to those Members of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation who have been confirmed by the Senate. Under Article II of the Constitution, the President has the power ``to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate.'' Under the Constitution, such recess appointees enjoy the same powers assigned to Senate-confirmed officers. Provisions purporting to grant authority only to individuals confirmed by the Senate interfere with the President's recess appointment power, and are unconstitutional.

I would also note my strong objections to the inclusion of an amendment to the criminal post-employment statute in an appropriations bill, without benefit of any public discussion of the merits, without any appreciation of the recently enacted comprehensive amendments to the post-employment statute, and without regard for the implications of targeting for coverage just one position.

Nevertheless, the overall amount of funding provided by H.R. 5678 is consistent with my budget request, and thus allows progress toward a freeze in domestic discretionary budget authority to be maintained. Because the bill provides funding for the continuance of many important programs within this level, I have signed it.

George Bush

The White House,

October 6, 1992.

Note: H.R. 5678, approved October 6, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 395.

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