Today I have signed into law H.R. 4650, the "Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1995." H.R. 4650 supports the Administration's major defense priorities and reflects a spirit of cooperation between the Administration and the Congress to provide for a strong national defense. My number one defense priority remains the training and readiness of our military forces. I am very pleased that the Congress has resolved difficult budget issues in such a manner that supports this priority. I also appreciate the support the Congress has given to key defense investment and modernization proposals.
The Act provides $299 million in urgently needed supplemental FY 1994 funding for emergency relief for Rwanda and for emergency migrant processing and safe haven costs in and around Cuba. I designate the $299 million provided as an emergency requirement pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(D)(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1995, as amended. I am concerned, however, with the inflexibility of the provisions concerning the U.S. mission and military participation in Rwanda. I will interpret this legislation consistent with my constitutional authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States and my responsibility as Commander in Chief and as Chief Executive.
I am also concerned about section 8118 of this Act, which limits the Administration's flexibility to make reductions in certain personnel categories. This provision runs counter to the recommendations of the National Performance Review and this Administration's efforts to streamline Federal activities. It will hamper DOD's ability to manage its civilian personnel efforts efficiently.
I would point out that section 8136, which relates to changes in obligations under the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty), cannot restrict the constitutional options for congressional approval of substantive modifications of treaties, and I sign this bill with that understanding.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
The White House, September 30, 1994.