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Statement of Administration Policy: H.J. Res. 395 - FY 1988 Omnibus Full-Year Continuing Resolution

December 01, 1987


(House Rules)(Sponsor: Whitten (D) Mississippi)

The President's senior advisers would recommend veto of the full-year continuing resolution as reported by the House Appropriations Committee. It is deficient for several reasons.

H.J. Res. 395 fails to reflect the budget agreement reached between the President and the bipartisan leadership of the Congress. It is absolutely imperative that funding levels provided in FY 1988 appropriations bills be consistent with the bipartisan budget agreement for domestic, international, and defense spending. Action taken on appropriations bills, in conjunction with reconciliation, must achieve the important and necessary reductions to the deficit.

The resolution also is deficient because it fails to include non-lethal aid to sustain the Nicaraguan democratic resistance while the process leading to security and democracy in Central America unfolds.

In addition, by referencing House-passed or House-reported bills, the continuing resolution includes language provisions that, by themselves, make the resolution unacceptable. The most serious objectionable provisions, any one of which would cause a veto recommendation, are identified in the attachment.

Five items concerning arms control, any one of which would prompt a veto recommendation, can be resolved by amending the provisions to make them consistent with the DOD Authorization Conference Report. These provisions are as follows:

  • Prohibit the development, testing, or deployment of an ABM System under certain circumstances (Defense);

  • Limit U.S. strategic nuclear forces to the numerical sublimits of the SALT II agreement (Defense);

  • Prohibit U.S. nuclear explosions exceeding one kiloton (Defense);

  • Impose a one-year moratorium on the testing of the Space Defense System (ASAT) against objects in space (Defense); and

  • Prohibit the development or deployment of the Space-Based Interceptor Project (Defense).

The Administration is strongly opposed to efforts expected on the House floor to add entire authorizing bills to the continuing resolution. For example, inclusion of the Fairness Doctrine, which the President has already vetoed, would certainly lead to a veto recommendation. An omnibus continuing resolution is not the appropriate vehicle for legislation that should be debated and enacted separately. Any attempt to ensure passage of legislation in this way would result in a veto recommendation.

Finally, the bill contains numerous other objectionable provisions, any combination of which could trigger a veto. These provisions have been summarized in previous Statements of Administration Policy on each of the bills included in the resolution by reference.

The Administration urges the House to craft an appropriations measure that comports with the bipartisan agreement and is free of extraneous language provisions so that the President's senior advisers can recommend that he sign this legislation.

The attached objections to H.J. Res. 395 can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking this link

Related PDFs

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.J. Res. 395 - FY 1988 Omnibus Full-Year Continuing Resolution Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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