Today I have signed into law H.R. 1358, the Seventh Continuing Resolution for fiscal 1996, which provides funds for a long list of Federal activities through September 30.
This continuing resolution builds upon H.R. 1643, which I signed early this morning and which put all Federal workers back on the job with pay from December 16 to January 26 and provided funding for a limited list of Federal activities.
While both measures help to restore needed Government services, the Congress has not ended the partial shutdown of the Federal Government, nor the suffering it is causing millions of Americans and thousands of businesses. The shutdown continues to affect the Departments of Commerce, Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the Small Business Administration; and many smaller agencies.
This bill provides full-year funding for allowances to Peace Corps volunteers, their spouses and minor children; activities, including administrative expenses, needed to process single-family mortgage loans and refinancing for low-income and moderate-income families; projects and activities directly related to the security of U.S. diplomatic posts and facilities abroad; the Federal Emergency Management Agency's emergency food and shelter program; retirement pay and medical benefits for Public Health Service Commissioned Officers, payments under the Retired Serviceman's Family Protection Plan and Survivor Benefit Plan and for the medical care of dependents and retired personnel, and payments to the Social Security trust funds, which the Secretary of Health and Human Services deemed necessary because of Commissioned Officer pay raises; and projects and certain activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement, Federal Prison System, U.S. Attorneys, U.S. Marshals Service, Support of U.S. Prisoners, Fees and Expenses of Witnesses, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
Also funded are projects and activities of the Judiciary; Health Care Financing Administration State surveys and certifications; trade adjustment assistance benefits and North American Free Trade Act benefits; payments to health care trust funds; expenses of Medicare contractors; grants to States for Medicaid; the general business loan guaranty program and section 504 certified development company program; surety bond guarantees revolving fund; visitors services on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management; disease control, research, and training; Indian self-determination and self-governance projects and activities of tribes or tribal organizations; expenses of the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School and the Model Secondary School for the Deaf; and payments for benefits and interest on advances, and expenses of operation and administration, for black lung disabilities and disabled coal miners.
This measure also extends, from December 31, 1995, to June 30, 1996, the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 1994 and extends the San Carlos Apache Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 1992 from December 31, 1995, to December 31, 1996. The bill also includes fisheries related provisions.
Even with H.R. 1643 and H.R. 1358 in place, however, the Congress has not funded significant activities covered by the six appropriations bills that are not enacted. The Congress has not provided funds to help put 100,000 more police officers on the streets of our communities; funds for the States for social services and job training; funds for Head Start; funds to help U.S. businesses with export financing; funds to help the Environmental Protection Agency enforce environmental laws; and funds to continue the Shuttle program and other key initiatives at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Along with denying services to our citizens, the shutdown is threatening the vitality of thousands of businesses which supply goods and services to the Federal Government under contract. The jobs of thousands of workers in those businesses are at risk. The longer the shutdown continues, the more that its effects will be felt. Clearly, this is no way to run the Government and deliver services and benefits to millions of Americans, whether they are elderly, children, students, working parents, or businessmen and women.
More than 3 months into fiscal 1996, the Congress has not even sent me three of the six remaining, full-year appropriations bills. I vetoed the other three because they would have been bad for the country. Those bills underfunded essential programs for the environment, for veterans, for law enforcement, for technology, and for Native Americans.
At this point, the Congress should work with me to reach agreement on these six measures.
At the very least, the Congress should send me an acceptable continuing resolution that will fully reopen the Government while they work with me to find common ground on the budget.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
The White House, January 6, 1996.