International Development and Food Assistance Act of 1978 Statement on Signing H.R. 12222 Into Law.
I am today signing into law H.R. 12222, the International Development and Food Assistance Act of 1978.
This legislation authorizes the appropriation of $1,794 million for U.S. bilateral and multilateral economic assistance for fiscal year 1979 to carry forward our programs to encourage development in the world's poor countries and to promote peace and stability abroad. The bill endorses the use of our foreign assistance resources to meet the basic human needs of poor people in developing countries through a policy of equitable growth.
These provisions bring us closer to our foreign policy goals, and I fully support them.
However, H.R. 12222 contains a constitutionally objectionable provision for a legislative veto. The bill requires the President to develop a new personnel system for the Agency for International Development, and to submit the new system to Congress for review by March 15, 1979. The objectionable provision allows either House of Congress to strike down' the proposed changes by adopting a disapproving resolution up to 90 days after they are submitted.
The provision for disapproval by either House exemplifies the kind of unconstitutional device to which I strongly objected in my June 21, 1978, message on the legislative veto. As I noted in that message, "... the legislative veto injects the Congress into the details of administering substantive programs and laws .... " and it infringes "... on the Executive's constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws."
I agree that the Agency's personnel management needs to be strengthened to assure the success of our development assistance programs. Accordingly, I am directing the Administrator of AID, Mr. Gilligan, to undertake an urgent study of the Agency's personnel system. The study will include appropriate recommendations for revitalizing the system to meet AID's special requirements, consistent with my program for civil service reform.
The administration will advise and consult the proper congressional committees throughout its review. New regulations will be submitted to Congress by March 15, 1979, as called for. The Administrator of AID will implement the new regulations at the end of the 90-day congressional review period unless a statute, subject to my approval under Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution, is enacted overturning them. This approach ensures respect of congressional intent in a way that is constitutionally appropriate.
Note: As enacted, H.R. 12222 is Public Law 95-424, approved October 6.
Jimmy Carter, International Development and Food Assistance Act of 1978 Statement on Signing H.R. 12222 Into Law. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/243857