George Bush photo

Statement of Administration Policy: S. 1433 - Foreign Relations Authorization Act Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993

July 24, 1991


(Sen. Pell (D) Rhode Island)

The Administration supports favorable Senate action on S. 1433, but would support final enactment only if a number of objectionable provisions are deleted or modified. Generally,

S. 1433 provides necessary authorities to carry out foreign policy. The Administration particularly supports the authorizations for Moscow chancery construction and the full payment of arrearages authorized for the international organizations and peacekeeping accounts. However, the Administration strongly objects to authorizations of appropriations in excess of or below the President's request; to all earmarks; and to the significant reduction in the foreign buildings authorization. These provisions misallocate resources and inhibit efficient program operation.

With respect to other parts of the bill, the Administration strongly opposes the following provisions and urges their deletion or significant modification:

—  Section 171, which establishes requirements and procedures with respect to publication of the Foreign Relations of the United States Historical Series and with respect to declassification of State Department records after 30 years that are both unnecessary and constitutionally problematic.

—  Title V, the "Anti-Boycott Passport Act of 1991," which would impose constitutionally dubious obstacles to the conduct of diplomacy by the President, and inhibit foreign travel by private citizens.

—  Section 906, which intrudes unconstitutionally into the President's ability to conduct foreign policy by purporting to impose preconditions on negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and section 901, which sets unnecessary and counterproductive reporting requirements about PLO activities.

—  Section 914 and Title VIII, which would impose a specific Middle East arms sales policy and control regime at the very time when a major Presidential initiative is underway to control the destabilizing spread of arms in that region, and when current law provides ample authority to control U.S. exports.

In addition, the Administration is concerned about a number of other provisions that need to be modified or deleted during the rest of the legislative process:

—  Section 118, which bars the denial of passports in certain cases, is - based on incorrect assumptions about current State Department practice and would serve only to generate confusion and litigation.

—  Section 121, which requires unclassified reporting of certain activities in the confidential emergency fund of the Department of State.

—  Section 192, concerning sensitive diplomatic initiatives, which if reported publicly would be counterproductive.

—  Title VII, the "Persian Gulf War Criminals Prosecution Act of 1991," which would duplicate efforts currently underway, pose serious legal difficulties, and limit the President's diplomatic flexibility.

—  Section 915, which places the proposed new program of guarantees for commercial military sales in the Department of State rather than in the Export Import Bank, which is where the Administration prefers it to be.

—  A number of constitutionally questionable provisions that could infringe upon the President's authority to conduct diplomatic relations (sections 206, 603, and 903).

—  A number of unnecessary provisions that micromanage foreign affairs and could interfere with Presidential and Executive branch ability to conduct foreign relations effectively (sections 124, 127, 128, 152, 164, 194, 232(a), 233, 234, 241-244, 905, and 910 and title IV).

George Bush, Statement of Administration Policy: S. 1433 - Foreign Relations Authorization Act Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives