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Statement on Signing the Military Construction Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 1989

September 27, 1988

I have today signed H.R. 4586, the Military Construction Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1989. The Act appropriates $9.1 billion for military construction programs for the fiscal year that begins October 1. The Act funds these programs at responsible levels for fiscal year 1989 that are consistent with the Nation's defense needs and with the need for fiscal restraint. This is the sixth appropriations act that I have approved for the coming fiscal year.

Section 116 of the Act provides that the Secretary of Defense is to inform specified congressional committees of the plans and scope for any proposed military exercise involving United States personnel 30 days prior to its occurring, if amounts expended for construction are anticipated to exceed $100,000. I have approved H.R. 4586 with the understanding that Section 116 encompasses only exercises where providing thirty days' advance notice is feasible and consistent with my constitutional authority and duty to protect the national security.

Section 125 of H.R. 4586 provides that the Secretary of Defense shall include in the fiscal year 1990 program a legislative proposal to authorize the installment purchase by the Government of military housing units and that the budget request for fiscal year 1990 shall include a request for sums necessary to implement a pilot program for not to exceed 3,000 units. The Constitution grants exclusively to the President the power to recommend for the consideration of the Congress such measures as he judges necessary and expedient. Because the Congress may not by law command the President to exercise in particular circumstances the power that the Constitution commits to his judgment, such provisions have been consistently treated as advisory, not mandatory.


The White House,

September 27, 1988.

Note: H.R. 4586, approved September 27, was assigned Public Law No. 100-447. The statement was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on September 28.

Ronald Reagan, Statement on Signing the Military Construction Appropriations Act, Fiscal Year 1989 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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