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Statement on Signing the Dire Emergency Appropriations and Disaster Assistance Legislation

December 12, 1991

Today I have signed into law H.J. Res. 157, the "Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations and Transfers for Relief From the Effects of Natural Disasters, for Other Urgent Needs, and for Incremental Cost of `Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm' Act of 1992."

I am pleased that the Congress was able to approve, prior to its adjournment, a bill that provides urgently needed funding for programs that address the effects of natural disasters in the United States and its territories. I am likewise pleased that H.J. Res. 157 provides these needed funds in a way that does not violate the statutory spending limits mandated by the Budget Enforcement Act (BEA) or the concept of what constitutes an emergency under the BEA.

The Act provides $800 million for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief program to cover costs associated with the unusually high level of disasters that have occurred during 1991. These include Hurricane Bob; the devastating fires in Oakland, California, and the State of Washington; and the northeastern storm that ravaged New England on October 31. In addition, the Act provides $995 million in assistance to producers of agricultural crops who have suffered losses during 1990 or 1991. Pursuant to section 251(b)(2)(D)(i) of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, as amended, I designate these amounts as emergency requirements. These designated amounts include the amount I designated as an emergency requirement on June 28, 1991, in my supplemental and amendment requests for FEMA.

The Act also includes funds for the incremental costs of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. Such expenditures continue to be financed by foreign contributions to the Defense Cooperation Account.

I am appreciative of the fact that the Congress deleted or significantly limited the availability of over $2.5 billion in funding that I have not designated as "emergency requirements."

George Bush

The White House,

December 12, 1991.

Note: H.J. Res. 157, approved December 12, was assigned Public Law No. 102 - 229.

George Bush, Statement on Signing the Dire Emergency Appropriations and Disaster Assistance Legislation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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