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Public Papers - 1992 - October

Statement on Signing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Authorization Act of 1992


Today I am signing into law H.R. 2130, the ``National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Authorization Act of 1992.'' In signing this bill I must, however, note several concerns.

First, the imposition of procedural obstacles could create delays in efforts to modernize the National Weather Service. Such delays would hamper our efforts to improve the Nation's weather forecasting system, especially with regard to severe storms. The delays could add significantly to the cost and quality of the modernization program. Nonetheless, the Administration will interpret the provisions of this Act to minimize the costs and delay of weather service modernization, and proceed expeditiously with current plans to provide advanced weather service technology.

Second, a number of provisions of the bill raise constitutional concerns. Accordingly, I sign this bill with the following understandings:

(1) Requirements to transmit reports to the Congress or particular congressional committees apply only to final recommendations that have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate officials within the executive branch.

(2) Provisions requiring an executive agency to consult with another executive agency or private group concerning executive policy do not dictate the decision making structure or chain of command of the executive branch deliberative process.

(3) The members of any advisory committee or private group who have not been appointed as officers of the United States in conformity with the Appointments Clause of the Constitution may perform only advisory or ceremonial functions.

Further, I understand that the term ``significant subsidy'' for a shipyard in section 607 applies only to those subsidies enumerated in section 607(b)(1 - 8) to the extent that they are significant in value. Without such an interpretation, the provision could be inconsistent with our international trade obligations and practices. It could also have the unintended consequence of interfering with NOAA's purchase of virtually any ship.

George Bush

The White House,

October 29, 1992.

Note: H.R. 2130, approved October 29, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 567.

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