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Letter to Congressional Leaders on National Emergency Construction Authority

November 14, 1990

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Enclosed is an Executive order entitled "National Emergency Construction Authority." I signed the order today to make available to the Department of Defense the emergency construction authority contained at section 2808 of title 10, United States Code. This authority will enable the Secretary of Defense to undertake military construction projects that he deems necessary to respond to the threat caused by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Without this authority, all military construction in support of Operation Desert Shield or any other operation responding to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait would have to be included in a military construction authorization act and an appropriations act. Operational requirements do not permit such an extended process for construction of much-needed facilities. This Executive order will permit the Secretary of Defense and the Secretaries of the military departments, if the Secretary of Defense determines a delegation of his authority to be appropriate, to prioritize the construction needs of the military departments and to construct facilities not otherwise authorized by law.


George Bush

Note: Identical letters were sent to Thomas S. Foley, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Dan Quayle, President of the Senate. The letter was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on November 15. An original was not available for verification of the content of this letter. The Executive order is listed in Appendix E at the end of this volume.

George Bush, Letter to Congressional Leaders on National Emergency Construction Authority Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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