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Statement on Signing the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 1996

November 13, 1995

Today I have signed into law H.R. 1905, the "Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 1996."

I urge the Congress to complete action on the remaining regular FY 1996 appropriations bills and to send them to me in an acceptable form. Last year, the Congress had sent—and I had signed—all 13 appropriations bills by September 30th. Regrettably, this is only the third bill that I have been able to sign for this fiscal year.

The Act provides $19.3 billion in budgetary resources for programs of the Department of Energy, portions of the Departments of Interior and Defense, the Army Corps of Engineers, and several smaller agencies. While the bill does not fully fund my budget requests in a number of programs, the bill provides important funding for many major programs in these agencies.

The bill supports the Administration's proposal to reinvent the Department of Energy to improve the way it serves the American people. The bill provides $6.1 billion for a critical environmental mission to continue working cooperatively with States and all other interested stakeholders to clean up the Department's former weapons production facilities. The bill also fully funds my request for the Department of Energy's Stockpile Stewardship and Management program, assuring the safety and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing. In addition, the bill provides full funding for one of my key science initiatives to enhance the operation and availability of the Department of Energy's science facilities, giving more researchers access to these facilities to conduct more basic and applied research. This is a modest investment that will leverage a significant return from the scientific community.

The enrolled bill provides $4.0 billion for water resources programs at the Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation—98 percent of the amount I requested. At the same time, the Congress added 14 unrequested Corps of Engineers new start construction projects that will require over $1.1 billion in total Federal funds to complete, potentially causing delays in ongoing projects. I look forward to maintaining a dialogue with the Congress to formulate a mutually acceptable reinvention strategy for the Corps of Engineers.

I am particularly pleased that the Congress satisfactorily resolved sensitive language issues that the Administration was concerned about, including some cases in which language contained in earlier versions of the bill would have overridden environmental laws.

Again, I urge the Congress to meet its responsibilities by sending me the remaining regular FY 1996 appropriations bills in acceptable form.


The White House, November 13, 1995.

NOTE: H.R. 1905, approved November 13, was assigned Public Law No. 104-46.

William J. Clinton, Statement on Signing the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 1996 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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