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Statement on Signing the Military Construction Appropriations Act, 1997

September 16, 1996

I have today signed into law today H.R. 3517, the "Military Construction Appropriations Act, 1997," which provides funding for military construction and family housing programs of the Department of Defense.

The Act provides my full request for the vast majority of military construction projects, the military family housing program, other quality of life facilities for our military personnel and their families, and the Department of Defense base closure and realignment program.

But I am disappointed that the Act provides more funding than I requested. Specifically, I am concerned that the Congress has chosen to spend $154 million on projects that the Department of Defense has not identified as priorities and that will not improve the quality of life for our service members. These projects are clear examples of spending that is neither warranted nor justified, and is funded at the expense of higher-priority domestic programs.

Indeed, this Act is part of an overall approach by the Congress to provide more funds than necessary for nonpriority items through the Defense budget at the expense of important domestic priorities in education and training, the environment, science and technology, law enforcement, and other key priorities. At a time of scarce resources, we should not squander funds on items that we don't need while underfunding the very priorities that will help improve living standards and the quality of life of average Americans—both now and in the future.

I urge the Congress to complete action on the remaining 1997 appropriations bills as quickly as possible, and to send them to me in an acceptable form.


The White House, September 16, 1996.

NOTE: H.R. 3517, approved September 16, was assigned Public Law No. 104-196. This statement was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on September 17.

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

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