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Public Papers - 1992 - October

Statement on Signing the Veterans Home Loan Program Amendments of 1992


Today I am signing into law H.R. 939, the ``Veterans Home Loan Program Amendments of 1992.'' On balance, the bill improves the Veterans Home Loan Program by authorizing new programs and expanding or extending existing programs.

I am, however, concerned that certain provisions of this bill raise serious constitutional concerns. For example, the race-based classification of ``Native Hawaiian'' cannot be supported as an exercise of the constitutional authority granted to the Congress to benefit Native Americans as members of tribes. Therefore, this classification would be subject to the most exacting equal protection standards. I direct the affected Cabinet Secretaries to consult with the Attorney General in order to ensure that the program is implemented in a constitutional manner.

In addition, the bill purports to require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to recommend future legislation regarding a pilot program for housing loans to Native American veterans. The Constitution grants exclusively to the President the power to recommend to the Congress such measures as he judges necessary and expedient. The Congress may not by law command the President or his subordinates to exercise the power that the Constitution commits to his judgment. Therefore, I will treat this requirement as advisory rather than mandatory.

George Bush

The White House,

October 28, 1992.

Note: H.R. 939, approved October 28, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 547.

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