Statement on Signing the Foreign Assistance and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1976.
I HAVE signed H.R. 12203, the Foreign Assistance and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1976, and the period ending September 30, 1976. The bill appropriates funds for a variety of programs in support of U.S. foreign policy objectives, most importantly our pursuit of a peaceful solution to the problems of the Middle East.
Nevertheless, I have serious reservations regarding one element of the bill and believe it is necessary to comment on why I have signed the bill, notwithstanding my objections to it.
Title I of the bill contains a provision which conditions the availability of appropriated funds, in certain instances, upon the acquiescence of the Appropriations Committees of each House of Congress. This requirement violates the fundamental constitutional doctrine of separation of powers. While similar provisions have been included in congressional enactments, and have been found objectionable on these grounds, this particular requirement is especially onerous in that it intrudes upon the execution of programs in 19 different appropriation categories.
Since I view this provision as severable from what is an otherwise valid exercise of legislative authority, and because it is presented for my signature in the last week of the fiscal year, I am not withholding my approval. We shall continue to work with the Appropriations Committees, as with all committees of the Congress, in a spirit of cooperation. We shall continue to keep the Congress fully informed on a current basis on the execution of the laws. However, we shall not concur in a delegation of the powers of appropriation to two committees of Congress.
Note: As enacted, H.R. 12203, approved June 30, 1976, is Public Law 94-330 (90 Stat. 771).
Gerald R. Ford, Statement on Signing the Foreign Assistance and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1976. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/257714