Today I have signed into law H.R. 4624, the "Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, FY 1995."
The Act provides funding for the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and National Science Foundation and various other agencies. This Act will fund important activities in the space program, housing programs, environmental protection, and programs for our Nation's veterans.
I am pleased that the Act provides funding for a number of my high-priority investment proposals, including both the National Service and Community Development Financial Institutions initiatives. The National Service Initiative will provide an opportunity for young people to obtain funding for a college education while serving the country in areas of great need such as education, environment, public safety, and human services. Funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions fund will increase the flow of capital to distressed neighborhoods and their currently underserved low-income residents, and provide financing for neighborhood redevelopment and revitalization efforts.
The Act also provides funding for the redesigned Space Station and other programs that will set a new direction for the Nation in space exploration, science, and technology. The Act includes about $260 million for cooperative activities with Russia, with about half of that going directly for joint space station, human space flight, and scientific cooperation.
The Act includes $7.2 billion in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Act provides funds for EPA programs that protect our environment through enforcement of our environmental laws, cleanup of hazardous waste sites, and construction of needed water and waste water treatment facilities.
The Act meets the needs of our Nation's veterans by providing $16.2 billion in funding for the VA medical care program, an increase of $0.6 billion over the FY 1994 enacted level.
The Act includes $25.7 billion in funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, including funding for programs such as the HOME block grants for housing, Community Development Grants, and Severely Distressed Public Housing. These programs will assist communities and individuals in revitalizing neighborhoods and increasing opportunities for home ownership.
The Act provides $3.4 billion in funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), a $343 million increase over the FY 1994 enacted level. NSF programs will promote basic research that is vital to enabling our Nation to compete in world markets.
The Act includes a requested FY 1994 emergency supplemental appropriation of $225 million to finance housing repairs in areas affected by the Northridge earthquake ("ghost towns") to be derived by transfers of previously appropriated emergency funds from the Departments of Education and Transportation.
Concurrently with signing this bill, I am transmitting to the Congress a request to make available $14.5 million for FEMA, which I am designating as an emergency requirement. These funds will provide additional resources to address consequences of the Northridge earthquake. The funds, which were appropriated in Public Law 103-211, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1994, will be transferred from the Unanticipated Needs account within Funds Appropriated to the President. These funds will provide $150 million in additional emergency disaster loans to the victims of the Northridge earthquake.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
The White House, September 28, 1994.