George Bush photo

Statement on Signing the Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill

May 25, 1990

Today I have signed into law H.R. 4404, the Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1990.

The Act provides $720 million in emergency funding to assist Panama and Nicaragua. I am pleased that this Act supports our efforts to restore peace and to support the emerging democracies in Panama and Nicaragua. The funds will help the citizens of these nations to rebuild their economies after years of economic mismanagement and privation. As further economic progress is made in Panama and Nicaragua, their democracies will grow stronger and add to the stability of Central America.

The Act provides additional funds for several mandatory programs, including $1.2 billion for Food Stamps and $0.4 billion for veterans' programs. The Act also funds immediate needs for several discretionary programs, including the 1990 Census, disaster relief following recent floods, Veterans Medical Care, and NASA.

I regret that the Congress has used this important legislation to enact many special interest provisions that are not in response to dire emergencies, and that Defense programs rather than domestic discretionary appropriations were used as offsets. I note that section 205 of the Act would infringe upon my constitutional authority over the conduct of diplomacy by requiring the inclusion of a particular provision in certain international agreements, and by imposing preconditions on my ability to enter into those agreements. I shall construe section 205 consistently with the Constitution and therefore shall regard it as advisory. Notwithstanding these concerns, the need to provide immediately for the legitimate emergency needs of Panama and Nicaragua is sufficient to counterbalance the Act's objectionable characteristics.

George Bush

The White House,

May 25, 1990.

Note: H.R. 4404, the Dire Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Assistance, Food Stamps, Unemployment Compensation Administration, and Other Urgent Needs, and Transfers, and Reducing Funds Budgeted for Military Spending Act of 1990, approved May 25, was assigned Public Law No. 101 - 302.

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

Simple Search of Our Archives