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Statement on Signing the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act

August 26, 1994

Today I have signed into law, H.R. 4603, the "Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, FY 1995, and Supplemental Appropriations for FY 1994."

This Act provides funding for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State; the Judiciary; and several smaller agencies.

This Act marks a bold first step in our effort to combat violent crime in America. In this Act, the Congress has provided $2.3 billion in funding to support the key new programs in the newly-passed Crime Bill. Foremost, the bill makes good on the promise of the Crime Bill by providing $1.3 billion to begin putting 100,000 new police officers on the street over the next 6 years.

The Act will enable the Justice Department to escalate its efforts to secure the border and to control illegal immigration. Resources are provided to expand the number of agents at high-risk crossing points to deter illegal immigration, improve the equipment available to agents to increase their effectiveness, expedite deportations of criminal illegal aliens, and increase asylum adjudications. The Act also provides, for the first time, a funding source to help States that are burdened by large numbers of criminal illegal aliens in their prisons. This $130 million initiative highlights the Federal Government's commitment to share the responsibility for reducing the fiscal impact of illegal immigration with affected States.

A total of $100 million is provided to States to upgrade their criminal records databases, continuing implementation of the Brady Bill to ensure that handguns stay out of the hands of criminals. Innovative programs such as boot camps and drug courts are supported to promote cost-effective methods of dealing with young nonviolent offenders. Finally, funds are provided to stop or penalize those criminals who prey, intentionally, on women.

This Act, coupled with the Crime Bill, will provide the foundation for our bold new strategy of fighting crime in the United States.

The Act also provides important funding for some of my investment priorities, including development of the information highway, the defense conversion projects of the Economic Development Administration, and projects to foster high technology at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

In addition to providing important funding for fiscal year 1995, the Act provides urgently needed emergency funding for fiscal year 1994. Due to an increased need for disaster assistance, stemming primarily from the Northridge earthquake in California and the recent flooding in the Southeast, the Disaster Loan Program of the Small Business Administration (SBA) is out of funds. This Act provides $470 million for SBA's Disaster Loan Program. Concurrently with signing H.R. 4603 into law, I am informing the Congress of my designation of these funds as an emergency requirement, thereby making them available.

Finally, this Act provides important funding for our contribution to United Nations international peacekeeping efforts around the world. These efforts are essential to reducing regional tensions and preventing or stopping the horror of war.

Unfortunately, the Act does not provide sufficient funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for fiscal year 1995. If the Congress does not provide additional funds for the SEC before adjourning in October, the SEC will have to shut down before the Congress returns next year. To avoid this, I urge the Congress to enact legislation providing the necessary budgetary resources for the SEC prior to the start of the new fiscal year.


The White House,

August 26, 1994.

NOTE: H.R. 4603, approved August 26, was assigned Public Law No. 103-317.

William J. Clinton, Statement on Signing the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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