Statement on Signing the International Development and Finance Act of 1989
I have today signed H.R. 2494, the "International Development and Finance Act of 1989." Although I am glad that the Act will provide necessary funding to meet important international needs, I believe that several provisions warrant careful construction to avoid constitutional concerns. For example, several sections could be read to restrict executive authority to determine the position of the United States at various multilateral development banks. Other sections also need to be carefully construed to avoid constraints on my ability to supervise my subordinates and communicate with international organizations.
In addition, section 201 of the Act requires that the Secretary of the Treasury certify that the Comptroller General has access to documents of the Inter-American Development Bank under the same terms and under the same conditions as such documents are made available to the United States Executive Director of the Bank. I understand that the provision does not apply to executive branch documents, including documents produced by the United States Executive Director. I intend, of course, to construe any constitutionally doubtful provisions in accordance with the requirements of the Constitution.
The White House,
December 19, 1989.
Note: H.R. 2494, signed December 19, was assigned Public Law No. 101 - 240.
George Bush, Statement on Signing the International Development and Finance Act of 1989 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/264334