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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3011 - Interior Appropriation Bill, 1986

October 22, 1985

STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(Senate floor)
(Sponsor: Hatfield (R), Oregon, McClure (R), Idaho)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 3011 because it contains spending totals that are substantially over the Congressional budget resolution. The President's senior advisors could not recommend that he sign the bill in its present form.

The bill purports to make $8.1 billion available. Actual spending authority will be $9.7 billion, however, because the Committee has failed to count:

  • $650 million which has been appropriated in this bill to be available in future years for a new clean coal technology demonstration program; this act ion is not provided for in the Congressional budget resolution; instead, the resolution provides for $250 million a year ($1 billion over four years) for clean coal research;
  • $561 million for the development and fill of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; these funds were made available by the Congress when it overturned two Administration requested deferrals;
  • $200 million for an anticipated firefighting supplemental which is required by section 106 of the bill; and
  • Loss of minerals management receipts; the deletion of language deducting $125.2 million from Federal on-shore mineral leasing receipts prior to the division and distribution of such receipts between the States and the Treasury will result in $113 million not collected into the Treasury.

Only by failing to count these substantial expenditures — which put the total bill cost nearly 20% higher than that c 1 aimed by the Committee — does the bill fall within the Congressional budget resolution guidelines.

The amounts included in the bill exceed the President's request by $260 million for energy conservation and by $137 million for land acquisition. Language provisions in the bill relating to employment ceilings, reorganizations, and reprogrammings violate the Constitutional legislative process that requires approval by the full Congress and the President.

The Administration urges the Senate to eliminate the $750 million in appropriations for the new clean coal demonstration program — a program not provided for in the budget resolution — and to make other reductions necessary to bring the bill within the Congressional budget resolution. The Administration also urges deletion of the other unwarranted spending and objectionable language provisions identified in the attachment.

The President's senior advisors could not recommend that he sign this bill given the continued presence of excessive amounts for the total bill and for the above programs and the objectionable language provisions.

Ronald Reagan, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3011 - Interior Appropriation Bill, 1986 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/327038