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Statement on Signing the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1997

September 10, 1996

I have signed into law, H.R. 3845, the "District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1997." This Act provides $719 million in Federal appropriations for the District of Columbia.

The total amount of Federal funds appropriated to the District for FY 1997 includes $660 million for the Federal payment to the District of Columbia, $52 million for the Federal contribution to retirement funds, $5.7 million for Presidential Inaugural expenses, and $1 million to help address the District's drinking water problem.

I am disappointed that the Congress has excluded the $52 million increase in the Federal contribution to the pension payment proposed in my FY 1997 Budget. The $52 million requested increase was intended to begin to address the District's $5 billion unfunded pension liability. I am committed to working with the Congress to develop a solution to address the District's single largest financial obligation.

The Act sets the total operating expense spending level for the District of Columbia at the requested level of $5.1 billion, $119 million above FY 1996.

The abortion language in the Act is the same as current law, which prohibits the use of both Federal and District funds to pay for abortions except in those cases where the life of the mother is in danger or in cases of rape or incest. I continue to view this prohibition as an unwarranted intrusion into the affairs of the District.

The Act includes a provision that applies civil rights standards provided for in Executive Order 11246 to Federal construction contracts funded under the District of Columbia School Reform Act of 1995.


The White House, September 10, 1996.

NOTE: H.R. 3845, approved September 9, was assigned Public Law No. 104-194.

William J. Clinton, Statement on Signing the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1997 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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